Xi Jinping Holds a Video Meeting with German, French and EU leaders at which Chinese and EU Leaders Jointly Announce the Completion of the Negotiations for China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment as Scheduled

On the evening of December 30, 2020, President Xi Jinping held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing via video conference. The Chinese and EU leaders jointly announced the negotiations for China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) have completed as scheduled.

Xi pointed out that 2020 is a very special year for the world as well as China and the EU, with the global COVID-19 pandemic interwoven with profound changes unseen in a century, and a rising number of unstable and uncertain factors. Under such circumstances, China and the EU joined hands to face difficulties and achieved fruitful results in China-EU relations. Both sides realized the objective of completing the negotiations for China-EU CAI within this year as scheduled and concluded a balanced, high-standard and mutually beneficial investment agreement. It shows China's determination and confidence to push high-level opening up, and will provide broader market access, a better business environment, stronger institutional guarantees and brighter cooperation prospects for mutual investment between China and the EU. It will also greatly boost world economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, enhance the international community's confidence in economic globalization and free trade, and enable the Chinese and EU's markets to make important contributions to building an open world economy.

Xi stressed that China's commitment to fostering a new development paradigm will provide more market opportunities and create a greater space of cooperation for the EU and the world at large. He calls on the EU to uphold free trade and multilateralism, and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese investors.

Xi stated that in the upcoming year of 2021, China and the EU as two major global forces, markets and civilizations, should demonstrate a sense of responsibility and take active steps to contribute to global peace and progress. The two sides need to enhance dialogue and mutual trust, deepen cooperation, properly manage differences, and work together to nurture new opportunities and open up new prospects.

First, Xi called for coordinated actions of pandemic response to ensure the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as global public goods, especially to make sure the move benefits developing countries.

Second, Xi urged joint efforts to promote economic recovery, adding the two sides should step up policy communication and coordination and uphold building an open world economy to bring global industrial and supply chains back on track as soon as possible.

Third, Xi called on the two sides to synergize development strategies, urging intensified efforts in policy coordination, better synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia, and discussions about cooperation in the digital sector.

Fourth, Xi called for speeding up green development, urging the two sides to give full play to their high-level dialogue mechanism on environment and climate, and give mutual support to each other in hosting international conferences on biodiversity, climate change, and conservation of nature.

Fifth, Xi urged multilateral cooperation, adding China and Europe should enhance coordination and cooperation within frameworks including the United Nations, the Group of Twenty (G20), the World Trade Organization, and the World Health Organization, facilitate political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues, actively implement the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, and support pandemic response and development in Africa, to promote world development and prosperity.

The European leaders said that despite the impact of COVID-19, Europe and China have maintained close high-level communication this year and made important progress in a series of issues including the Agreement on Geographical Indications. The announcement of the completion of the EU-China CAI negotiations at the meeting today is an important milestone in the development of EU-China relations and will also help promote the recovery and growth of the world economy. It shows to the world again that although Europe and China have differences on some issues, both sides have the political will to strengthen dialogue and deepen cooperation on the basis of mutual respect to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. The EU-China CAI is a high-level one. The European side appreciates China's expansion of opening up and its active promotion of trade liberalization and investment facilitation. Both sides support multilateralism and believe a strong EU-China relationship is conducive to solving global challenges. The European side also appreciates China's major moves in addressing climate change and helping Africa fight the pandemic, and hopes to continue to coordinate and cooperate closely with China on issues such as global pandemic response, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and WTO reform.

The Chinese and European leaders exchanged new year greetings and jointly stated that they will maintain close communication in the upcoming new year, jointly advance the agenda of major exchanges between the two sides, and promote the continuous development of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

Liu He, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others also attended the meeting.

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