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HRVP Remarks at the EU-China High Level Strategic Dialogue with State Councillor Yang Jiechi

10 June 2016

via EEAS Press Release

Thank you very much. Mr State Councillor, you hosted in Beijing last year the previous session of our strategic dialogue, which was extremely fruitful and positive. I am honoured and pleased to host you this year in Brussels for this session of the Strategic Dialogue that prepares the upcoming Summit between the EU and China, which will take place in Beijing, mid- next month.
We had so far a very intense, productive and positive meeting that will continue in the coming hours. And this does not surprise me. The intensity of our exchanges is important. The State Councillor and I talked even recently at length on the phone and I also had a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister just last week in Paris.
The European Union and China are both individually very important global actors and share the interest of having stability in our respective regions and some important fields of common engagement on the global level. So today we took the opportunity to prepare the Summit and to exchange views on a very wide range of issues.
Last year we celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations between the EU and China; and in this more than 40 years we have already achieved a lot. We will continue working together in the spirit of mutual cooperation and respect, facing growing challenges at the regional and global levels. We understand very well that working closely together is crucial for the prosperity and the security of our people.
In particular we already discussed this morning increased cooperation between the European Union and China in the Middle East, which is essential for the security and stability of the world – and not only of the region. Our close cooperation on the Iranian nuclear deal has set a positive example to do more together in this area. So we discussed the scope of our cooperation on Syria, Iraq, Libya and the Middle East Peace Process.
Other issues on our agenda today are our cooperation on managing the global phenomenon of migration that we see as a global responsibility, and regional security issues in Asia, in different aspects. I also have the opportunity of extending the invitation to the forthcoming Afghanistan Conference that we will hold in Brussels later this year in October.

Other issues on our agenda are our relations with Russia, the situation in Ukraine, our cooperation in Africa, and counter-terrorism. We welcome, in the European Union, China's interest in having more cooperation on counter-terrorism at international level and the European Union is open to intensify cooperation with China through our existing political and security dialogues.
We also discussed our relations in the areas of trade, investment and connectivity and I also stressed that the rule of law and human rights are at the very centre of our bilateral relationship.
Let me conclude by saying that the European Union fully supports China's presidency of the G20 this year. When it comes to China taking a strong lead to implement the global agenda we have in front of us - be it the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change, or the need to work on economic growth worldwide - China is a key partner in both delivering climate actions and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and, as a P5, can play a crucial role in the Security Council.
So I would like to thank you, Mr State Councillor, for a very important exchange. Even in the fields where there might be some distances, we always face them with the sense of respect and seeking cooperation and constructive solutions.

President Tusk, President Juncker and myself will look forward to seeing Premier Li and yourself at the Summit next month in Beijing to take EU-Chinese cooperation forward to the next level, which is the level that the situation of the world and our regions require. 

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