EU Statement – 26 November 2008 – EU-China Summit postponed – European Union Statement

The Chinese authorities informed the European Union of their decision to request the postponement of the 11th EU-China Summit, scheduled to be held on 1 December next.

Their decision was motivated by the fact that the Dalai Lama would be visiting several countries of the European Union at the same time and be meeting with Heads of State or Government of EU member countries and presidents of European Institutions. The Dalai Lama should also be participating at a Nobel Peace Prize meeting upon the invitation of Lech Wa??sa.

The European Union, which had set ambitious aims for the 11th EU-China Summit takes note of and is disappointed at China’s decision. The European Union intends to continue promoting the relationship of strategic partnership that it enjoys with China, particularly at a time when the global economic and financial situation calls for extremely close cooperation between Europe and China.

Reaction of the President of the European Commission Barroso – 30th November 2008 – “I regret the position of China (…). We know that China is extremely susceptible on Tibet and on its relations with the Dalai Lama, but we do not see sufficient reasons to cancel this Summit”. …it is very natural to be able to meet the Dalai Lama and I not criticize the French president, who has the right to meet anyone he wishes”.