* Will sign statement committing to fossil fuel cuts
* Response to Trump's pull-out of U.S. from Paris pact
* Lingering EU complaints over investor access to China
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, June 2 China and the European Union
pledged unity in fighting global warming on Friday, a day after
President Donald Trump announced a U.S. withdrawal from the
Paris climate pact, but showed lingering divisions on
A meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top EU
officials will end with a joint statement, backed by all 28 EU
states, committing the European Union and China to full
implementation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The joint statement, the first between the China and the EU,
will commit to cutting back on fossil fuels, developing more
green technology and helping raise $100 billion a year by 2020
to help poorer countries cut their emissions.
China has emerged as Europe's unlikely partner in areas from
free trade to security, and the talks in Brussels will also
address North Korea's missile tests and global steel
Trump's announcment on Thursday that he would take the
United States out of the Paris deal, saying it would undermine
the U.S. economy and cost jobs, drew anger and condemnation from
world leaders and heads of industry.
The European Commission, the EU executive, described the
U.S. pullout from the pact to fight the dangers of global
warming and signed by more than 190 countries, as a sad day for
the global community, but said it would seek new alliances.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a business
conference on Friday that China and the EU recognised the need
for international solutions and this was nowhere more important
than full implementation of the Paris agreement.
"There is no reverse gear to energy transition. There is no
backsliding on the Paris Agreement," Juncker told the conference
before a meeting with Li and European Council chief Donald Tusk.
EU WANTS CHINA TO ACT AGAINST OWN POLLUTION
While China needs EU technical know-how to reduce the
pollution blighting its cities, the EU is looking to Beijing to
take action against emissions blamed for increased droughts,
rising seas and other affects of climate change.
China overtook the United States as the world's biggest
emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007.
A broader final communique will be issued focusing on a
range of other issues expected to be raised at the talks,
including a commitment to free trade and measures needed to
reduce a global steel glut.
On these topics, however, China and the EU seemed less
Juncker referred to a World Bank report placing China 78th
of 190 countries in terms of the ease of doing business.
"A big economic powerhouse needs to be higher than
mid-table," he said, adding that a planned EU-Chinese investment
treaty needed to be completed to ensure reciprocal relations.
France, Germany and Italy have mooted the idea of allowing
the EU to block Chinese investment in Europe, partly because
European companies are denied similar access in China and
because of risks of China acquiring prized European technology.
Juncker also referring to "worrying overcapacity" in certain
sectors, notably Chinese steel, and urged Beijing to allow
European companies access to contracts for China's multi-billion
dollar Belt and Road infrastructure investment initiative.
In reply, Li said China was working hard to promote a trade
balance with Chinese tourism to Europe now far greater than EU
tourism in China. Foreign investment opportunities, he said,
were far different from when China first opened up.
"I do hope you can put things into context. We find the
problems, but we are working on them...Our ranking is getting
better," he said.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Heinrich)