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China's Xi urges strategic partnership with the EU

China and the European Union should be partners for growth, offering each other opportunities and speeding up completion of an investment treaty, President Xi Jinping told European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Monday.

In the first visit to EU headquarters by a Chinese president, Xi told the bloc's top official that China expects Europe to expand high-tech exports, and that the two sides should start a feasibility study for a free trade pact as soon as possible.

Xi, on the last leg of his first official tour of Europe, met with Van Rompuy, European Parliament chief Martin Schulz and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Xi said China firmly supports European integration and has committed itself to expanding and deepening a comprehensive strategic partnership with the EU.

As reform in China and the EU has entered “deep-water” zones, the two sides should share experience and step up cooperation on such reform priorities as the macroeconomy, social governance, public policies, rural development, employment and environmental protection, he said.

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