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Vice-premier urges EU to fulfill WTO obligations as scheduled

Updated: Nov 26,2016 10:26 AM     Xinhua

HAMBURG — Visiting Vice-Premier Liu Yandong has urged the European Union to fulfill its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) as scheduled.

Liu delivered the message on Nov 24 in a meeting with Jyrki Katainen, vice-president of the European Commission, shortly after the closing of a two-day high-level economic forum between China and the EU.

Liu told Katainen that China and the EU should join hands to oppose trade protectionism and safeguard a fair and just international trade system.

The vice-premier expressed her hope that the EU would fulfill its obligations under the Protocol on China’s Accession to the WTO and thus create a better environment for more mutual investment and cooperation.

Under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s Accession to the WTO, the EU must end its “surrogate country system” by Dec 11, 2016.

Under the system, costs of production in a third country are used to calculate the value of products from other economies.

During her meeting with Katainen, Liu said China attaches great importance to its relations with the EU, supports its integration process, and is committed to making continuous efforts to enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides.

Specifically, she said, China is willing to work with the EU side to build partnerships on peace, growth, reform and civilization.

Facing a complex political, economic and security situation in the world today, she said, it is important for China and the EU to work together to improve global governance and deal with global challenges.

She said the two sides should make joint efforts to promote the Belt and Road Initiative and the Investment Plan for Europe, deepen mutual cooperation in economy, trade, investment and interconnections in infrastructure, and further increase exchanges and cooperation in humanitarian fields such as education, culture, science and technology, media, youth and women affairs.

Katainen, for his part, said the EU is happy to see the current momentum for the EU and China to develop a good and close relationship.

With increasing uncertainty in the world today, he said, the EU and China need more than ever to be firm and confident in maintaining close cooperation.

Such cooperation is conducive not only to the development of the bilateral relationship, but also to the stability of the world economy, he said.

He said the EU supports more humanitarian exchanges between the two sides and strongly opposes trade protectionism and actively promotes trade liberalization and facilitation.

Before their meeting, both Liu and Katainen delivered keynote speeches at the closing session of the seventh “Hamburg Summit: China Meets Europe,” which opened on Nov 23.

First initiated by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 2004, the biennial Hamburg Summit has become a major platform for open dialogue between China and Europe.

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