I had a constructive meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao on the third day of my official visit to China.
We discussed the follow up of the EU-China summit of October last year, and reviewed the preparations of the upcoming 14th EU-China Summit to be held in the fall of this year in China. We agreed on the importance of building a result-orientated vision based on a positive agenda and concrete deliverables. We touched upon some of the central issues in our bilateral relationship.
I confirmed to Premier Wen my personal commitment to raising the strategic partnership to a higher level of mutual benefit and trust. We agreed on the importance of developing a third pillar of people to people and cultural relations. Based on the concrete examples of the 2011 EU-China year of Youth and the 2012 EU-China Intercultural dialogue we agreed to work out plans to increase the numbers of European students in China and to further discuss the idea of establishing a Sino-EU University. People to people relations will be crucial in the future to ensure the full support and understanding of our respective public opinions to moving forward with our long term strategic relationship. I also conveyed a clear message to Premier Wen about the importance the EU and the European public opinion attaches to the respect of Human Rights.
I welcomed China’s objectives, as expressed in the new 5-Year Plan, to move towards an economic development pattern better addressing social cohesion and global macro-economic imbalances. As the economic and trade relations form the back bone of our partnership, I emphasized the importance we attach to a positive business environment and level playing field that allow EU companies to operate under the best conditions in China. I also emphasized the importance the EU attaches to proper enforcement of intellectual property rights. We also discussed the issue of availability and pricing of raw materials.
Finally we touched upon the opportunities of furthering cooperation in technology development.
Common interests and synergies between our longer term economic strategies provide for opportunities among others in low carbon development, green economy, and tackling the challenges of urbanization.