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EU-China ties need boost- Top councillor
April 11, 2013, 8:38 am


EU-China trade fell an annualised 1.9 per cent to $124.4 billion in the first quarter of this year [AP]

Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi told the European Union’s (EU) top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, Wednesday that China-EU ties were his country’s top foreign policy priority.

In a telephone conversation with the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Yang said the two sides should focus on cooperation and a win-win spirit, and push forward the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

New data released this week shows China’s trade with the EU fell an annualised 1.9 per cent to $124.4 billion in the first quarter.

Ashton said the EU expected to maintain all forms of dialogue and exchange mechanisms with the Chinese side, and expand cooperation to make the EU-China ties more fruitful.

Even as the EU is trying to boost its exports to China, they have been sorting through trade disputes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Over 1,000 companies from across the European solar industry have written this week to the European Commission warning against levying import duties on Chinese solar panels.

They said in a letter to the Commission that this could have a grave impact on the industry.

In 2011, China won WTO cases over exports of shoes and metal screws to the EU, forcing Brussels to change its anti-dumping law.

During Wednesday’s exchange between Yang and Ashton, the two sides agreed to be well prepared for the 16th summit meeting of the EU and Chinese leaders this year.

They also exchanged views on Iran’s nuclear programme. Yang hoped the relevant parties could make joint efforts to continue dialogue and deal with the issue through diplomatic negotiations.

With inputs from Xinhua

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