.
Skip to content.
Skip to content.
Meetings Calendar 2006
January
.
February
.
March
.
April
.
May
.
June
.
March
  Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su  
 
.
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
4
.
5
.
 
  6
.
7
.
8
.
9
.
10
.
11
.
12
.
 
  13
.
14
.
15
.
16
.
17
.
18
.
19
.
 
  20
.
21
.
22
.
23
.
24
.
25
.
26
.
 
  27
.
28
.
29
.
30
.
31
.
.
.
 
 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
Service
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Press Releases

03.02.2006

Plassnik: “A broad array of topics connects China and the EU”

Foreign ministers' meeting of the EU Troika with China in Vienna

 

The Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the EU Troika with China took place in Vienna today. Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik hosted her Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, the High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, the EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and the Finnish Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja.

“The EU and China are strategic partners. This partnership is supported by common interests, but also by openness, mutual understanding, and respect. This is also the case for topics on which our opinions differ,” declared Foreign Minister Plassnik.

The EU considers relations with China to be of great significance. After the USA, China is the EU’s second largest trading partner and a very important destination for European investments. “It is now a matter of replacing a more than twenty-year-old trade agreement with a modern, comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and China. This agreement will reflect the complete scope of cooperation between China and the EU and will determine the agenda for our relations for the 21st century. I am confident that we can commence negotiations on this framework agreement during the Austrian Council Presidency,” said Plassnik.

Foreign Minister Plassnik referred to the active cooperation between the EU and China, extending beyond commercial relations, in matters of foreign policy such as in the framework of the the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in relation to Iran and North Korea, or in common efforts to support Afghanistan. She also mentioned intensive cooperation on theEuropean satellite navigation system (GALILEO), in areas of energy and environment, science and technology, as well as in the fight against communicable diseases.

Another topic of the discussions was the situation in Taiwan. The EU repeated its position that all questions ought to be resolved peacefully and that both sides should renounce unilateral actions and declarations that might increase tensions. “The latest remarks of the Taiwanese leader Chen Shui Bian send the wrong signals for progress in mutual relations,” said Plassnik.

On the question of the arms embargo, Plassnik recalled the instruction of the European Council to work toward lifting the embargo, as well as the EU code of conduct on arms export controls in effect since last year. At the same time she pointed out that there was no consensus yet on this topic within the EU. Plassnik also referred to the feelings with regard to this topic in European parliaments.

With regard to human rights in China, the Council Chair explained: “It is an important sign of the quality of our wide-ranging dialogue that we can also speak with complete openness about topics on which our opinions differ. As far as human rights are concerned, we have discussed with our Chinese partners those central areas in which the EU expects further progress, in particular the release of political prisoners who have been in detention since 1989; the ratification of the pact on civil and political rights; and the reform of the so-called re-education camps.” Plassnik added that at the same time, the EU recognizes the progress that has already been made and welcomes especially the fact that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, was able to visit China last November.

 

Date: 08.02.2006