EU, China to cooperate on WTO reform after 'honest' talks

(BRUSSELS) - The European and China agreed at a summit Tuesday to deepen the EU-China strategic partnership, cooperate on WTO reform and intensify talks to strengthen international rules on industrial subsidies.

In sometimes difficult negotiations, the two sides, with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang representing China, and EU Council president Donald Tusk and Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker the EU, managed to agree a joint statement setting out the direction for their future partnership .

Leaders expressed their joint support for multilateralism and rules-based trade. They reaffirmed their joint engagement to reform the World Trade Organisation. The EU and China agreed to work together to address industrial subsidies.

The EU and China committed to deepen the EU-China strategic partnership. They will adopt a new cooperation agenda beyond 2020 by the next summit.

The EU and China committed to build their economic relationship on openness, non-discrimination and fair competition. Both sides reiterated their willingness to provide each other with broader and more facilitated, non-discriminatory market access.

The summit was also an opportunity for a discussion on cooperation on human rights, with the EU and China welcoming the holding of their human rights dialogue in China on 1-2 April.

Leaders reaffirmed the importance of fighting climate change. Both sides agreed to intensify cooperation on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The EU and China also agreed to cooperate on other environmental issues, such as biodiversity loss or maritime pollution.

The EU made clear its commitment to the "rules-based trading system" and the importance of "serious reform of the WTO", which meant dealing with the issue of industrial subsidies as a priority.

Leaders reaffirmed their support to the G20, the premier forum for economic cooperation. Both sides agreed that there should not be forced transfer of technology.

On the issue of steel overcapacity, leaders agreed to maintain communication in the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity.

And the EU and China promised continue to forge synergies between China's belt and road initiative and the EU's initiatives with a view to improving Europe-Asia connectivity.

Joint Summit Statement.

Memorandum of Understanding on a dialogue in the area of the state aid controlregime and the Fair Competition Review System;

an Agreement on the Terms of Reference of the EU-China Competition Policy Dialogue;

Joint Statement on the Implementation of the EU-China Cooperation on Energy;

Terms of Reference for a Joint Study to identify the most sustainable railways-based transport corridors between Europe and China.

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