Europe and China signed a series of agreements Friday worth nearly $80 million, as they sought to improve cooperation, including in confronting the financial crisis. The deals, which came during a visit to Brussels of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
The visit by China's premier Wen Jiabao to the European Union Friday marks his first visit to Brussels in five years and signals Europe and China are ready to turn the page after China canceled a China-European Union summit last month.
Beijing did so apparently to express displeasure at the meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which held the rotating European Union presidency at the time.
But on Friday, the atmosphere was resolutely positive as Europe and China signed nine agreements worth about $78 million. And EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso announced Europe and China had agreed to hold a new summit in the near future.
"Europe and China can only benefit from this intensive cooperation between us," he said. "I believe not only Europe and China but also the global international community. To consider the global challenges we are facing, none of them will be solved without the strong cooperation between China and the European Union."
Those international challenges include global warming, and Europe was to push Beijing to join the fight against climate change ahead of critical international talks in Copenhagen, in December. China is one of the world's leading polluters, while the European Union is at the forefront of reducing heat-trapping carbon emissions.
The two sides also talked about the economic and financial crisis and the European Commission announced Beijing has agreed to work in collaboration with Europe on this issue.