China and EU - The promotion of Free Trade 

China and EU - The promotion of Free Trade

Hu, Blair vow to promote Sino-UK, Sino-EU ties
(Xinhua) Extracted from
Updated: 2005-07-08 09:17

GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday pledged efforts to promote the Sino-British relations and ties between China and the European Union.
The two leaders made the pledge during a meeting prior to the informal meeting between Group of Eight (G8) leaders and the leaders of China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa.
Chinese President Hu Jintao and British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Thursday, July 7, 2005 in Gleneagles, Scotland, on the development of bilateral relations. [Xinhua]
President Hu first extended his congratulations to Blair on London's winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
In response, Blair said the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will surely be a grand event and that people across the world would hold higher expectations for the 2012 London Olympic Games. He hoped for increased cooperation in this field with China.
On the relations between China and Britain, President Hu said bilateral ties have shown good momentum of growth in recent years.
The China-Britain relationship has entered a new stage of development since the two countries announced the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership last year, Hu said.
Britain remains the biggest EU investor in China and the third largest trading partner of China within the European bloc, the Chinese president noted.
Coordination between the two countries in international and regional affairs has been strengthened, he added.
Further developing the Sino-British comprehensive strategic partnership is in keeping with the interests of both peoples and is conducive to world peace and development, Hu said.
He expressed belief that China-Britain relations will be further developed during Blair's new term in office.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU and remarkable progress has been achieved in the development of their relationship, Hu said.
He said considerable achievements have been scored since the two sides set up the all-around strategic partnership.
As Britain holds the EU presidency during the second half of this year and the China-EU summit is to be held in Beijing later this year, President Hu expressed the hope that "substantial achievements" would be made during the summit.
The Chinese president also pointed out that the Chinese side believes that the aim to lift the arms embargo against China is to eliminate a political barrier hindering the smooth expansion of China-EU relations.
Hu expressed the hope that the EU would recognize China's market economy status so as to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation on a fair, just and rational basis. He hoped that the EU would make its political decision on the two issues, taking into account the overall interest of China-EU relations.
Hu also hoped Britain would exert positive influence so as to facilitate an early resolution of the two issues.
Blair, for his part, said bilateral ties have been developing smoothly and marked achievements have been made in bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
He hoped for closer political dialogue and cooperation with China.
Blair said he looked forward to attending the EU-China summit later this year and would strive to make progress in resolving the issues which China pays attention to.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the meeting between theG8 leaders and the leaders of China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa.
President Hu said it is important for the host to put on the agenda the issues of international cooperation and climate change and he believed the meeting would make a positive effect on efforts to promote cooperation among nations in the areas.
Blair praised China's active participation and said China's robust economic growth is vital to the global economy.
President Hu arrived in Scotland on Wednesday, and Britain is the last leg of his current three-nation tour.

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