The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

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Press Release
Ministerial Troika Meeting in Beijing marks 30th anniversary of EU-China relations

Date of release : 11-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EU-China (Troika)

Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and current President of the Council of the European Union, headed the European delegation at a Ministerial Troika Meeting between the European Union and China on 11 May 2005 in Beijing.

The People's Republic of China was represented by its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Li Zhaoxing. On the European side, External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also took part in the meeting.

Ahead of their encounter with Minister Li Zhaoxing, the European Troika met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

At the end of the EU-China Ministerial Troika Meeting, Jean Asselborn made the following statement:

“It is a great honour for me to lead today's EU Troika to Beijing, which coincides with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. It is also the very first time that the Troika meets at ministerial level in Beijing. I am therefore particularly happy to say that we had very open and fruitful discussions at today's meeting.

Latest developments in China and in the region, as well as the relations between the European Union and China have been discussed. These relations have developed significantly in all aspects in the past years and we are looking forward to further progress in all areas of our relationship.

I reiterated the European Union’s attachment to the ‘One China’ policy and to the peaceful resolution of disputes, which is the only means of maintaining stability in the Taiwan Straits, and its opposition to any use of force.

I informed my colleague on the ongoing discussions in the European Union on the lifting of the arms embargo. As you know the Luxembourg Presidency received a mandate from the European Council in December to finalise the well-advanced work in order to allow for a decision.

Discussions are still ongoing inside the EU on the strengthening of the code of conduct and the new instrument on measures pertaining to arms exports to post-embargo countries (the so-called ‘toolbox’). In this respect, I would like to underline the importance the EU attaches to the different criteria of the code of conduct on arms exports, in particular the criteria regarding human rights. A decision is never taken in a vacuum. In December our Heads of State and Government clearly stated that another of the criteria of a code of conduct has to be the stability and security in the region and the national security of friendly and allied countries.

We also discussed the situation in the Korean peninsula, which is of course preoccupying for both of us. The EU attaches utmost importance to the Six Party Talks to address and hopefully solve the issue. I can only encourage China to maintain its engagement and to persevere in its efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

Our discussions continued in the evening with an exchange of views on the situation in Burma/Myanmar, which is a cause of concern for the EU, and on the reform of the United Nations. The EU wants to see an ambitious and balanced outcome at the UN Summit in September. We are looking for common responses to the questions of development, security and human rights.

Let me conclude by saying that I am looking forward to explore, with my Chinese colleague, ways to even further enhance our good cooperation in all the fields and issues I mentioned."

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Last update of this page on : 11-05-2005