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Solana: Security is key in EU-China talks
Updated: 2004-03-16 15:01

Fighting terrorism and international organized crime is among the "key priorities" in upcoming talks between the European Union (EU) and top Chinese leaders, EU foreign affairs and security chief Javier Solana said Monday.

The talks with top Chinese leaders in Beijing on March 16-17 will cover an "exceptionally comprehensive" range of issues concerning EU-China relations and international affairs, Solana told Xinhua News Agency.

He said cooperation in fighting terrorism and international organized crime is among "key priorities" in bilateral cooperation programs.

Solana noted that China is a "key international partner" of the EU and that during his visit he and Chinese leaders will "seek to identify areas where we can cooperate together to further our shared objectives."

"The range of international issues I will discuss with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing this week is exceptionally comprehensive and is evidence of the increasing depth of our relationship," he said.

As for EU-China cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy, Solana said it is vital to increase understandingof each other's positions and policies and to inform each other of relevant policy-making.

"China and EU member states already work together closely on these issues in a number of international fora, foremost amongst them the United Nations. Chinese and European experts regularly meet together bilaterally and in international fora to discuss the most appropriate means of combatting these challenges," he added.

On the Seventh EU-China summit expected to be held in the second half of this year, he said Chinese and EU officials are already discussing possible concrete deliverables for the summit, noting that he was "confident that the summit will mark a further step forward in the level of EU-China cooperation."

As for China's role in the EU-sponsored Galileo positioning project similar to the GPS system of the United States, Solana said China is a "full partner" in the project, and "is now able tomake a full contribution to the further development of this undertaking."

Turning to the six-party talks on the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held in Beijing recently, Solana said he warmly welcomes the Chinese leadership inseeking a resolution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and appreciates the "dedication of the Chinese negotiators."

The EU continues to "monitor the situation closely" and to provide "all possible support for this process," Solana said.

On the tourism pact between China and the EU signed last year, he said the pact is a "milestone" agreement, "which will make a tremendous contribution in people-to-people contacts, not only in tourism but also in EU-China business contacts."

Although Solana is not in charge of EU economic affairs, he said the EU will become China's largest trading partner, ahead of the US and Japan, when trade with the 10 new members who join the EU on 1 May this year is added to the trade between China and the 15 current EU members.

On the question of when the EU will grant China full market economy status, Solana revealed that discussions are underway between Chinese government officials and the European Commission to provide the necessary technical details on which a decision will be based.

"An initial response to the Chinese request for market economy status is due within the next few months," he said.

Market Economy Status is usually used for anti-dumping cases. For example, if the EU grants China full market economy status, the domestic price of a certain goods and relevant cost calculation provided by Chinese enterprises can be applicable in the anti-dumping cases. Otherwise, prices and cost calculation of the same goods in a third country, like Japan and the United States, will be applied in the anti-dumping cases. In the latter case, Chinese enterprises would be in an disadvantageous position when involved in anti-dumping cases.

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