Chinese President Xi Jinping co-hosts a China-Germany-EU leaders' meeting in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 14, 2020, via video link with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BRUSSELS, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Top European Union (EU) officials commented positively on their video meeting with Chinese leadership on Monday, which reaffirmed the commitment to maintain common interests and address differences.
The China-Germany-EU leaders' meeting was co-hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen via video link.
At a press conference after the meeting, Michel said that they had discussed topics including climate change, economic and trade issues, international affairs and human rights, as well as COVID-19 and economic recovery.
"Europe needs to be a player, not a playing field. Today's meeting represents another step forward in forging a more balanced relationship with China," Michel said.
"We made it clear where we stand, where we agree, and where we disagree ... But we are ready to engage, ready to cooperate where we can, and ready to roll up our sleeves to find concrete solutions ... We want a relationship with China that is based on reciprocity, responsibility, and basic fairness," said Michel.
Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, also emphasized the principles of reciprocity and fair competition.
"We are different societies. We have different social systems, but we acknowledge the importance of multilateralism and the importance of rules," she said.
She named the agreement on geographical indications (GI) as "a practical step when it comes to the economic and trade issues." The official signing of the China-EU agreement on GI was announced before the meeting.
Merkel said during the press briefing that both the EU and China welcome the Paris Agreement on climate change, and that the EU has particular interest in the emission trading system which China is creating.
On the EU-China investment agreement, EU officials emphasized that more work is needed on the issue of rebalancing market access and on sustainable development. The two sides reaffirmed their objective of closing the remaining gaps before the end of the year.
Von der Leyen, who also attended the press briefing, emphasized the discussion on COVID-19 pandemic.
"We discussed the need to continue to act in global solidarity and cooperation on this matter. It is very important to engage in the global framework, not only to find a vaccine, but also to make it accessible to low and medium income countries," said the European Commission president. Enditem