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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
EC leader urges China to reform
By Daniel Griffiths
BBC News, Beijing

Jose Manuel Barroso (L), President of the European Commission meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 15 July 2005.
Mr Barroso held talks with China's leaders
The president of the European Commission has said China must introduce democratic reforms if it is to have sustained economic growth.

Jose Manuel Barroso was speaking in Beijing on his first visit to China as the head of the EC.

Mr Barroso pulled no punches in his speech to a top Chinese government think-tank.

China must have political reform if it was to continue its breakneck economic growth, he said.

He also said the country's poor record on human rights would slow down any progress on an end to the EU's current ban on arms sales to China.

On trade, Mr Barroso struck a more conciliatory note.

Brussels and Beijing have had a series of trade disputes recently over surging Chinese exports of textiles, shoes and even strawberries.

The president of the European Commission said he thought the economic rise of China was a great opportunity for the EU and should not be perceived as a threat.

The real test of that statement, however, will come in the months and years ahead as China's growing manufacturing strength provides increasingly tough competition for European industries.

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10 Jun 05 |  Business
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21 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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