FACTBOX - China-Europe ties ahead of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit

BEIJING Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:50am IST

A pigeon flies above the national emblem on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 21, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

A pigeon flies above the national emblem on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 21, 2007 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Claro Cortes IV

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will travel to Europe from Tuesday for a week, and fighting the global financial crisis will be a top issue. Here are some facts about his visit and China-Europe relations.

Wen will first travel to Switzerland and the World Economic Forum in Davis (Jan. 27-28), followed by Germany (Jan. 28-29), the European Union headquarters in Brussels (Jan. 29), Spain (Jan.30-31), and finally Britain (Jan. 31-Feb 2).


The nations Wen will visit, except Switzerland, are members of the 27-nation European Union. Trade between China and the EU has more than doubled since 2003, from 119 billion euros ($154 billion) that year to 300 billion euros ($388 billion) in 2007.

But the European economies are rankled by their big trade deficit with China, which has stoked anti-dumping actions and WTO complaints. The EU deficit with China climbed to a record 160 billion euros ($207 billion) in 2007. And in the first 10 months of 2008 it expanded again to reach 138.8 billion euros ($179 billion), up 5.4 billion euros on the same period last year.

Switzerland has enjoyed a trade surplus with China, buoyed by its sales of watches and other technology. In the first half of 2008, trade between them reached 5.5 billion Swiss francs ($4.7 billion) in value, up 15.2 percent on the same period a year earlier. Switzerland had a surplus of 815 million Swiss francs ($701 million) in the first half of 2008, according to Swiss statistics.


China is the most frequent target of EU anti-dumping actions. In December, the EU's anti-dumping committee voted to adopt import duties of up to 87 percent on screws and bolts from China. And in January, an EU trade panel voted in favour of imposing temporary anti-dumping duties of 25 percent on Chinese-made steel wire rods.


China's relations with the EU have been ruffled by disputes over human rights and especially Tibet. Last year, Chinese people called for boycotts of French goods and shops after French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he may not go to the Beijing Olympic Games unless China opened up dialogue with the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of restive Tibet. Sarkozy went to the Games.

But Chinese anger has flared again after Sarkozy met the Dalai Lama in Poland in December, and Beijing called off a summit with the EU that was scheduled for that month in Lyons, when France still held the six-monthly rotating EU presidency.


Climate change is also a major topic in China-EU relations, especially ahead of a meeting in Copenhagen in December intended to seal a new global pact on fighting global warming and restricting greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU has announced its own goals to cut emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and has pressed China -- now widely believed to be the world's biggest total emitter -- to make firm commitments to restrict its emissions.

(1 euro=$1.2925; 1 Swiss franc=$0.86)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Korean Boat Tragedy

Family members of a missing passenger onboard the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized on Wednesday, look at the sea as they wait for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sunken Korea ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify dead

Relatives of some of the more than 200 children missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offered DNA swabs on Saturday to help identify the dead as a rescue turned into a mission to recover the vessel and the bodies of those on board.  Full Article 


Ferry Disaster

Ferry Disaster

Vice-principal of South Korea school in ferry disaster commits suicide.  Full Article 

Everest Avalanche

Everest Avalanche

Avalanche kills 12 guides in deadliest incident on Mount Everest.  Full Article 

Turkey Politics

Turkey Politics

Turkish president rules out role swap with Erdogan.  Full Article 

Mexico Earthquake

Mexico Earthquake

Powerful earthquake rattles Mexico, shakes buildings.  Full Article 

Missing Plane

Missing Plane

Drone risks damage at record depth in search for Malaysian plane.  Full Article 

Papal Message

Papal Message

Pope Good Friday service underscores plight of the suffering.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage