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EU is urged to normalize China's status

By LI XIAOKUN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-20 06:46

Official agrees to look into WTO protocol issues raised in talks  

China urged the European Union on Wednesday to fulfill the provisions of the protocol on China's accession to the World Trade Organization as soon as possible.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi made the remark after talks with Federica Mogherini, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission. They led the seventh round of high-level strategic dialogues at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Under Article 15 of the protocol, WTO members were to end after Dec. 11, 2016, the organization's surrogate country approach regarding anti-dumping investigations of China. The date was exactly 15 years after China's admission.

"About Article 15, the EU said it attaches importance to China's concern, will abide by the WTO rules and has started the process to amend laws," Yang said at a joint news conference after the talks.

"China expects the EU to fulfill the provisions as soon as possible and send a positive signal of protecting a free and open trade system," Yang said.

Yang said the EU will participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which will be convened in Beijing next month.

China and the EU also will enhance cooperation in areas such as climate change and fighting terrorism.

"China cherishes its ties with the EU. Regardless of how the European situation changes, China will as always firmly support the integration path that Europe chooses," Yang said.

"We are willing to work with the EU to deepen the mutually beneficial, comprehensive strategic partnership. The policy will not change," he added.

Yang and Mogherini said they also talked about hot spot regional and global issues, including Syria, the Korean Peninsula and Afghanistan.

Mogherini, an Italian politician, said relations between the EU and China have become stronger than at any time in history.

She said the two sides spent a long time discussing Syria.

The top EU diplomat spoke highly of President Xi Jinping's keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this year, saying it has provided new opportunities for Europe-China cooperation.

Wang Yiwei, director of the EU Studies Center at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said conditions in Europe are bringing the EU and China closer, as both sides support multilateralism.

"Now, the EU also attaches high importance to China's role on regional issues, aside from China's traditional efforts inside the UN Security Council," Wang said.

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