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China, EU to confront economic crisis together

BRUSSELS: China is ready to work together with the European Union to confront the global economic crisis, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Friday.

“We have spoken about the economic and financial crisis that we must confront together,” she told AFP after talks with a visiting Chinese delegation led by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

“They are also facing great challenges, like unemployment... and losses. And they want to work in concert with us,” she said.

Ferrero-Waldner said she had also discussed international issues like “the Middle East, North Korea, and Taiwan and Tibet,” with the Chinese delegation.

On the sensitive issues of Tibet, she said that “the door is not closed” between Beijing and the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. But she noted: “There are still wide differences between the Dalai Lama and his envoys and the Chinese.”

Wen’s is the first European trip by a senior Chinese official since Beijing postponed a summit with the EU in December to protest against French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to meet the Dalai Lama.

France held the rotating EU presidency at the time.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after his talks with Wen that the possibility of a new summit “is implicit in all the conversations we had”.

“I will be going to China soon and we will continue the conversations there,” Solana told reporters.

“The fact that he came to Brussels is a very good sign... for deepening the relationship betwwen EU and China,” the bloc’s top diplomat said.

Friday, AFP

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