April 21, 2019
Latest News
European Union

EU and China in 'breakthrough' trade talks on World Trade Organization reform

Brussels, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The European Union and China have strengthened their relationship in “breakthrough” trade talks at a summit on Tuesday and committed to reforms World Trade Organization reforms.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels and met with the presidents of the European Council and Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker.

Tusk said the negotiations on international trade had been “difficult but ultimately fruitful” and described the talks as a “breakthrough” in joint press conference.

"For the first time, China has committed to Europe in this key priority for the reform of the World Trade Organization," he added.

The EU and China are strategic partners as well as rivals in the field of competitiveness, as recognized by the European Commission in a recent document.

They do more than one billion euros in trade every day and are both important partners to the other.

But Europeans have voiced concerns about issues such as the recognition of their geographical indications, Chinese state subsidies to industry, investments in European critical infrastructure through initiatives such as its new Silk Road project, officially known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or the crucial role that Chinese companies such as the Huawei technology in the development of future 5G mobile networks.

The EU leaders highlighted their commitments to human rights in the summit on Tuesday.

Tusk said the issue is “as important as economic interest” and added: “I underlined the need to maintain the human rights dialogue and expressed that the EU has serious concerns with regards to human rights.”

Juncker described the EU partnership with China as “more important than ever before” and said Tuesday’s talks were a “big step in the right direction”.

He added that the proposed WTO reforms will aim to “level the global playing field”.

The Chinese leader said the results were “fruitful” and added: “We believe our shared interests override our difficulties and benefit the people of both sides.”

He urged the EU to grant "equal treatment" to Chinese companies and vowed that his country will continue to be more open economically and give reciprocity to European companies.

"It is certain that China will continue to open up, opening up has brought us prosperity. The companies that come to China to invest and operate will receive the same treatment," he added.

Li also said that he expects a “high-level China-EU investment agreement before the end of next year”.

EU leaders previously put on a united front after China’s efforts to find investors for its Silk Road trade project, which Italy has already independently signed.

The Belt and Road initiative was a huge infrastructure project launched by China in 2013 to improve connections with Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Italy's support for it was a diplomatic victory for China, whose ambitious plan for an international network of ports, roads, railways and pipelines has faced criticism for the opacity of some deals.

The country was the first member of the Group of Seven major advanced economies to sign up to the initiative.

Many Western governments see the plan as a Chinese push for geopolitical influence, not just for business.

Italy's bilateral embrace of China's prestige project irritated many of its EU partners when the bloc was looking for a more robust collective stance toward Beijing. Italian officials stressed that the agreement was not legally binding and does not weaken Italy's commitment to its Western political and security alliances.

In response, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker put on a united front when they sat down for discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Paris in March.

US diplomats were also critical of the move, warning that China's plans could increase its influence over other countries and weaken Western cohesion.

The bid by Huawei to supply Europe with 5G mobile-internet equipment sparked security fears in Washington, which urged its allies to exclude the Chinese company from sensitive infrastructure. EFE-EPA


News history
2 arrested on suspicion of being linked to journalist's death in N. Ireland

London, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Two teenage men have been arrested on suspicion of having shot and killed a journalist who had been observing disturbances in the...

Ukrainian presidential campaign ends with heated debate in soccer stadium

Kiev, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- The president of Ukraine and his main rival in the upcoming national elections, a comedian who has been leading the pre-poll...

Bullfighters, soldiers, TV personalities, the new faces of Spanish politics

By Antonia Méndez Ardila

France launches architectural competition to replace Notre Dame spire

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).-The French government has launched an international architectural competition aimed at rebuilding a spire on Paris’ iconic Notre...

Firefighters: Notre Dame fire out, French president pledges reconstruction

Paris, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Paris firefighters tackling a blaze that partially destroyed the city's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral said on Tuesday the flames...

American Airlines to boost Boeing 737 MAX training

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- American Airlines Group Inc., after saying for months that its pilots didn't need additional ground-simulator experience...

Juncker: No Brexit extension beyond Oct. 31, UK must run in EU elections

Strasbourg (France), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The European Union is not likely to extend the Brexit negotiation period beyond the current – and already delayed –...

Investors suffer a smoking relapse

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Much like die-hard smokers, investors are finding it hard to stay away from cigarettes, according to a Dow Jones...

Notre-Dame heavily damaged by fire, but building appears to have been saved

Paris, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the culmination of Gothic architecture, on Monday suffered a devastating fire that...

Rumors transmitted on WhatsApp hinder vaccinations in India

New Delhi, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Antivaccine misinformation, some of it from social media posts in the West, is spreading in India on WhatsApp, undermining...

Pakistan rights watchdog urges UN to probe extrajudicial killings

Islamabad, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Monday urged the United Nations to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings...

India carrier Jet Airways cuts international flights

Mumbai (India), Apr 15 (efe-epa).- India's Jet Airways has drastically reduced operations as it looks for an investor to purchase a controlling stake in the...

Ecuador jilted Assange as it strengthened US ties

London, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Ecuador's diplomatic protection of Julian Assange once allowed the small Andean nation's leftist government to antagonize its...

A new generation of politicians to battle it out in Spanish general elections

By Jesús Lozano

Bletchley Park, the laboratory of geniuses who read Hitler's mind

By Patricia Rodríguez

Anxiety seeps from Tetsuya Ishida's art in first European retrospective

Madrid, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- Tetsuya Ishida's career was cut short when he died at the tender age of 31 but his surreal existential canvasses offer a glimpse...

First ever photo of supermassive black hole revealed

Brussels, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The first-ever image of a supermassive black hole loitering at the heart of the Milky Way was unveiled on Wednesday in Brussels...

Malmstrom says EU wants to avoid escalation of tensions with US

Tokyo, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The European Union's trade commissioner said on Wednesday that the EU wants to avoid an escalation in trade tensions with the...

Egyptian aims to break record with 100 putty figures of celebrities

By Carles Grau Sivera

EU and China in 'breakthrough' trade talks on World Trade Organization reform

Brussels, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The European Union and China have strengthened their relationship in “breakthrough” trade talks at a summit on Tuesday and...

May seeks support for Brexit delay ahead of EU Council summit

Berlin, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister on Tuesday visited the German chancellor in another last-minute Brexit trip.

Russia to go ahead with controversial Turkey missile sale

Moscow, Apr 8 (efe-epa).- Russia has Monday pledged to continue with the sale of military weapons to Turkey, including an anti-aircraft missile deal that...

Russia to release whales following Cousteau mediation

Moscow, Apr. 8 (efe-epa).- Nearly 100 animals that have been held in dreadful conditions in a "whale jail" in eastern Russia will be released into the wild,...

Japanese robot manufacturer: automation will not destroy jobs

Kocevje (Slovenia), Apr 8 (efe-epa).- A Japanese robot manufacturer that has launched its first factory in Europe said Monday that the use of artificial...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.