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China's Hu lauds EU ties after summit

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(BEIJING) - Chinese President Hu Jintao met European Union leaders Tuesday with both sides hailing the state of bilateral ties a day after a sometimes testy summit.

Hu congratulated Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt -- who holds the rotating EU presidency -- and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on the summit and thanked them for their contribution in "advancing" relations.

The two European leaders met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in the eastern city of Nanjing on Monday for a summit during which the EU called for Chinese leadership on climate change and urged it to loosen its currency policy.

Wen countered by defending the position China has laid out for climate change talks opening next week in Copenhagen and calling forex criticisms "unfair".

In their meeting with Hu, however, Reinfeldt and Barroso praised cooperation between the two sides.

Barroso told Hu "our relations today are more mature, deeper" and focused increasingly on "what China and the European Union can do together in this new international situation in facing these global challenges."

The world's largest source of greenhouse gases, China said last week that by 2020 it would curb emissions per unit of gross domestic product by between 40 and 45 percent compared to 2005 levels.

Europe has pledged deep cuts in emissions.

On Sunday, Barroso urged China to explore the "outer limits" of its emissions plan in comments widely seen as a push for more action. The EU delegation also called for China to let the yuan appreciate in value.

The EU fears that a rise in the euro against the yuan will hurt European exports. The EU is China's largest trading partner.

However, a joint statement after the summit stressed the geopolitical importance of China-EU ties in an apparent response to growing talk of a world dominated by the China-US relationship.

EU - China Summit


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