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China Announces End of WTO Entry Talks with EU(2001.06.20)
China and the European Union (EU) had reached a comprehensive consensus on outstanding problems over China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), a senior Chinese official said Wednesday in Brussels.

Shi Guangsheng, Chinese Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, told reporters that he and EU's Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy held special meetings Tuesday and Wednesday, and "both sides reached a comprehensive consensus on outstanding problems over the multilateral talks on China's entry into the WTO" during a series of "constructive consultations" in Brussels.

The agreement between China and the 15-nation EU, the minister said, "created important conditions" for an overall conclusion of substantial talks at the 16th session of the permanent Working Party on China's WTO membership, which is due to be held in Geneva from June 28 to July 4.

The EU and China also expressed their willingness to work together with other WTO members for China's admission to the WTO in the coming months, a news release issued here by the Chinese ministry said.

During the meetings, both sides exchanged their views on how to develop Sino-EU economic and trade cooperation and on other issues of mutual concerns, the news release added.

Lamy pledged earlier this month to help China in its long- running bid to join the WTO, saying the European Commission, the EU's executive body, "will move swiftly to renew talks with the Chinese side to resolve our remaining differences in order to pave the way for China's accession."

WTO Director-General Mike Moore also said early this month that it was vital for the key players "to work quickly to translate negotiating progress into multilaterally viable texts and other related data for the information and approval of WTO in Geneva".

He implied that once those texts were completed, all WTO members would have to approve them.

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