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News letter Issue No. 25

Issue No. 25

     November 24, 2009

On November 17 and 19, H.E. Ambassador Song Zhe, Head of the Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union, met respectively with Mr. Fernando Guimaraes, Diplomatic Advisor of President Barroso, and Mr. João Vale de Almeida, Director General for External Relations of the European Commission.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on November 21 sent a message to Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy to congratulate him on his election as full-time president of the European Union (EU). In the message, President Hu said China has always attached great importance to its relations with the EU and supported the EU integration. China appreciates the EU's efforts to play a greater and more constructive role in international affairs. He also expressed the wish that the China-EU all-round strategic partnership will further develop during the tenure of Van Rompuy.

From Nov. 15 to 18, U.S. President Barack Obama paid his first state visit to China.

Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands with visiting U.S. President Barack Obama after they meet the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 17, 2009.

Obama arrived in China at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao with the international focus on how the two countries would address a raft of global issues. When he left, analysts saw a new direction for developing the China-U.S. relationship, which had major significance, and believed the summit had rendered bilateral relations stronger.

President Hu and Obama reiterated in the China-U.S. Joint Statement that both sides were committed to building a "positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in the 21st century" and promised to take concrete action to build a partnership to jointly cope with common challenges. To learn more about the Joint Statement, please go to http://www.china.org.cn/world/obamas_asia_tour/2009-11/17/content_18905097.htm

Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies met on November 14 to explore ways of countering the international financial crisis and reviving the world economy. During the two-day meeting, the APEC leaders were to focus on the financial crisis, climate change, protectionism, supporting a multilateral trading platform, and advancing regional economic integration. Chinese President Hu Jintao expounded on China's position concerning multilateral trading. President Hu said in his remarks that safeguarding a stable multilateral trading mechanism and advancing the Doha Round negotiations would help promote the openness of international trade, curb protectionism and revive the world economy. To read the speech, please go to http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200411/22/eng20041122_164723.html

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Beijing on November 13 while meeting with the foreign representatives who attended the 9th annual conference of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) that China is committed to fully tackling climate change and pledged contribution to the international cooperation in this regard. Premier Wen said China will participate actively in the upcoming UN climate change conference in Copenhagen and make contribution to the international cooperation in the climate change issue.

An international forum of the 2010 World Expo was held on November 12. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the forum and he said to be held in the most populous developing nation in the world, the World Expo fully shows its strong vitality. China would continue to go all out for the event's preparations.

The Forum on China-EU Strategic Partnership was held in Beijing from Nov. 19 to 20. In the Forum, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang proposed China and EU upgrade the size and level of investment and trade and work more closely in advanced technologies, energy conservation, environmental protection and green economy. He called for both sides to respect each other's core interests and major concerns. Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo during his meeting with the EU scholars, said China hopes to further improve the strategic partnership between China and the European Union (EU). He said China and the EU should view their relations from strategic and long-term perspective, and work together for common development with mutual respect and equal treatment. He encouraged think tanks from both sides to enhance communication in a bid to cement the foundation of the China-EU strategic partnership.

China and the European Union held the 28th round of human rights dialogue in Beijing on November 20. Senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official Wu Hailong and Jan Nordlander, the ambassador at large for human rights of Sweden, co-chaired the dialogue. Mr. Wu, director-general of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences of Foreign Ministry, expounded China's measures to deepen reform on judicial system, to ensure judicial impartiality and to conduct international cooperation in human rights affairs. Nordlander also briefed the Chinese side on the EU nations' new legislation and new measures to improve human rights. The two sides agreed to maintain the positive momentum of the human rights dialogue and exchanges, to promote the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei met with the EU delegation.  He hoped the two sides abide by the principles of equality and mutual respect for the healthy development of China-EU dialogue on human rights. China valued the EU's role in international affairs, and would work with the EU to push forward China-EU relations.

A new pricing mechanism of fuel surcharge that links it with airlines' jet fuel costs has been introduced to offset rising jet fuel costs, China's top economic planner announced on November 12.  The new mechanism, which would take effect on Nov. 14, aims to "help the airlines with fluctuating fuel prices", as jet fuel costs usually account for 40 percent of the total costs of China's airline companies. Under the new mechanism, airline companies could decide themselves whether to charge fuel surcharge and how much to charge if jet fuel comprehensive purchasing cost reaches certain level.

China's central bank said on November 11 that it will step up efforts to balance inflation perception and economic growth as it will continue to implement the relatively easy monetary policy.  "We will make the policy more flexible and sustainable and keep policy abreast with economic climate and price changes," the People's Bank of China said in the latest quarterly report of monetary policy.  The report said the nation's stimulus package implemented since last November had held back price falls and eased deflation fears. However, the loose credit conditions across the globe also pushed up commodity and asset prices, which shaped "a certain perception for inflation". The central bank noted it will keep the credit growth at a "reasonable" pace and make it "sustainable and balanced".

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