The meeting was a follow-up to the 22nd EU-China summit that took place on 22 June and was chaired by President Michel on the EU side and President Xi on the Chinese side.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and, for the Council presidency, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also participated.
We strive for a relationship that delivers on our mutual commitments. That generates concrete results for both sides. Results that are also good for the world. In some areas, we are on the right track. In others, more work needs to be done.
Remarks by President Michel after the video conference
At the end of the meeting, President Michel together with President Von der Leyen and Chancellor Merkel issued a joint press release setting out EU’s ambition in its bilateral relations with China in a number of areas.
Trade and investment
The leaders welcomed the progress on the ongoing negotiations for the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement (CAI) especially on the rules regulating the behaviour of state-owned-enterprises, on forced technology transfer and on transparency of subsidies. At the same time the EU emphasised that more work was urgently needed on the issues of rebalancing market access and on sustainable development.
On other trade and economic issues, the EU stressed that more needed to be done to improve market access in areas such as agri-food, financial services and the digital sector.
Both sides welcomed the signature of the EU-China Agreement on Geographical Indications which will improve access to the Chinese market especially for high-quality European agricultural products.
Leaders stressed the importance of a level playing field also in the areas of science and technology, calling for high ethical standards in the areas of technological developments, product safety and innovation.
Climate change and biodiversity
China is a key global partner in reducing global greenhouse emissions, tackling climate change and preserving biodiversity. At the same time China needs to commit to setting a goal of climate neutrality and to launch its national emission trading system soon.
The EU underlined the shared responsibility to lead global efforts for development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine and to participate in the independent review of lessons learned from the international health response to COVID-19.
International affairs and other issues
The EU called on China to assume greater responsibility in upholding the rules-based international system. The EU leaders expressed their concern at steps taken by China to impose national security legislation in Hong-Kong, as well as the deterioration of the human rights situation, including the treatment of minorities in in Xinjiang and Tibet.
Leaders agreed to discuss these issues at the Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing later this year.
The EU stressed the need for China to refrain from unilateral actions in the South China Sea, to promote international peace and security, and to adhere to international standards to support sustainable development, especially in Africa.
The EU also expressed readiness to continue to discuss the Strategic Agenda for Cooperation 2025, which can only be concluded once significant progress has been made in the negotiations on the Comprehensive Investment Agreement.
An EU-China Leaders’ Meeting with the participation of the Heads of State and Government of the EU member states and President Xi is foreseen to be held in 2021.