By Ben Simmons
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Barroso will travel to Beijing for the 14th EU-China Summit with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on 14 February 2012.
The Summit provides an important opportunity to engage with a key EU partner, and -, against the backdrop of the current troubled economic times - send a signal of mutual confidence in each other’s economies. Both parties share a determination to contribute to global recovery and stability.
The EU and China have come a long way since the launch of their strategic partnership in 2003. The EU is China's biggest trading partner and China is getting close to becoming the EU's largest trading partner as well. The growing and robust economic bonds and increasing interdependence form a solid foundation on which to enhance and diversify EU-China cooperation and dialogue. The Summit will therefore aim at further strengthening the EU-China partnership though new initiatives to broaden and deepen the already vibrant bilateral relationship in areas such as people-to-people exchanges, innovation, energy or urbanisation to name just a few.
"The EU and China, as two major economic partners, share a responsibility for addressing the challenges of our time. By working more closely together, the EU and China can make a difference and reap mutual benefits for our economies and address the needs of our peoples. I am looking forward to having in-depth discussion with Prime Minister Wen on our bilateral cooperation and on global and international issues on which we need to engage actively with each other", President Van Rompuy said.
President Barroso adds: "The foundations of our relationship are tried and tested but our common wish is to take it even further. We face common challenges and the world needs cooperative and responsible partnerships to overcome them. It is now, more than ever that we must act together. I believe that a forward-looking and growing EU-China partnership can represent an important pillar for global stability and prosperity."
President Van Rompuy and President Barroso will also have meetings with President Hu Jintao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. A Business Summit, bringing together business leaders from both the EU and China, will be held in the margins of the EU-China Summit.
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