China urges EU to recognize its market econnomy status

Updated: 2011-05-11 15:56
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BEIJING -- China on Tuesday urged the European Union (EU) to lift its arms embargo on China and recognize China's market economy status at an early date to pave the way for the further development of bilateral ties.

"We think the two issues involve political discrimination against China," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu during a regular news briefing.

"The sooner they are resolved, the sooner the burden on China-EU relations can be cast off, and the more progress China-EU relations can make," Jiang said.

Jiang said the EU's arms embargo, which was implemented nearly two decades ago, does not fall in line with the deepening China-EU comprehensive and strategic partnership.

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She said that more than 80 countries have recognized China's market economy status, as China's market economy system has made great improvements through 30 years of reforming and opening-up.

"The EU, as China's largest trading partner, should recognize China's market economy status in an objective way," said Jiang.

China is now the EU's second-largest trading partner and second largest export market, according to Jiang.

Jiang's remarks came ahead of a visit by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the second round of China-EU high-level strategic dialogues, which are scheduled to be held in Hungary later this week.

Van Rompuy will pay a five-day visit to China starting from Sunday. The visit is his first official visit to China since he became president of the European Council in November 2009.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are due to meet with Van Rompuy in Beijing during the tour, which will also take him to Shanghai and southwest China's city of Chengdu, said Jiang.

"We hope the visit will help boost mutual understanding between China and the EU and further promote bilateral cooperation," said Jiang.

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Catherine Ashton, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, will co-chair the upcoming dialogues in Hungary.

Dai and Ashton co-chaired the first round of high-level dialogues in southwest China's Guizhou province last year.