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Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the EU-China summit in Brussels

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Raad, gepubliceerd op dinsdag 9 april 2019.

Two weeks ago, the European Council discussed priorities for our summit with China and agreed an ambitious offer of cooperation that covers everything from trade and technology to international relations. This is what we discussed today, in an open and honest spirit. Negotiations have been difficult, but ultimately fruitful. We managed to agree a joint statement, which sets the direction for our partnership based on reciprocity. This was our common effort and it is our common success.

In the current global context, it shouldn’t be a surprise that trade and economic issues were key topics at today's summit. As I have mentioned to the European Parliament, China and Europe both have a strong economic interest in maintaining significant trade flows, which are possible thanks to the rules-based trading system. However, for this system to continue to operate, it needs to be quickly updated. For the EU, this means serious reform of the WTO that would cover industrial subsidies, as a priority. Therefore, I am pleased that today we agreed with our Chinese partners to address the issue of industrial subsidies. Let me quote our common statement here: "The two sides reaffirm their joint commitment to cooperate on WTO reform to ensure its continued relevance, and allow it to address global trade challenges. To this end, both sides will intensify the discussions with the aim of strengthening international rules on industrial subsidies." It is a breakthrough. For the first time, China has agreed to engage with Europe on this key priority for WTO reform. We hope that these talks will progress speedily in view of the G20 summit in Osaka, so that we can defend the rules-based international trading system.

The summit was devoted to our bilateral relations, as well as to global economic governance. But during our talks, we did not forget about human rights. As I have stressed many times before, human rights are - from our, European point of view - as important as economic interests. This is why today, just like in our previous meetings, I underlined the need to maintain the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue. I expressed again the EU's serious concerns as regards human rights, and raised a number of individual cases.

Let me finish by thanking Premier Li for his personal engagement in our summit. Thank you.

Naar de bladzijde "Vergaderingen"

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