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EU seeks to solidify trade relations with China
Updated: 2005-02-24 03:36

European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson left Wednesday for a four-day visit to China, aimed at strengthening trade relations.

"I see no greater strategic challenge for Europe than to understand the dramatic rise of China and to forge ties with it," Mandelson said in a statement.

Mandelson will meet with the Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and Vice Premier Wu Yi in Beijing. Leaders agreed at an EU-China summit last December to work on a new trade and political agreement.

"I believe that Europeans need to have a clearer sense that China is assuming the responsibilities that go with its new global trading and political power," Mandelson said.

China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, making it more accessible to other markets, and is participating in the Doha Round of international trade talks to help poorer countries join the global market.

China also began quota-free trade of textiles in January. The EU and China are both monitoring the growth of China's textile trade to keep the growth rate at an acceptable level.

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