The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to fostering a more open trading relationship with China during the latest EU-China Summit in Brussels.
Several agreements were signed during the conference that are designed to strengthen the relationship between the regions, including a number of pledges to tackle persistent barriers to trade.
Among them was a memorandum of understanding to start a dialogue on state aid control and a strategic framework for customs cooperation, which aims to tackle illegal trade through effective customs controls, while also speeding up and reducing administrative burdens on legitimate trade.
The customs framework supports continued cooperation between the EU and China on matters such as supply chain security and the prevention of financial and environmental fraud, with the scope of regulatory cooperation to be extended to include e-commerce for the first time.
Documents covering the protection of intellectual property and geographical indications were also signed, with the stated goal of generating reciprocal trade benefits and increased consumer awareness and demand for high-quality products.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Our relationship is founded on a shared commitment to openness and working together as part of a rules-based international system. I am glad that we can meet here today and say this, loud and clear. It is one that recognizes that together, we can promote prosperity and sustainability at home and abroad."
The summit also saw EU and Chinese leaders reaffirm their commitment to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, accompanied by unanimous criticism of US president Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the pact.