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    EU-China Summit Media Conference Cancelled After Chinese Demands


    by NTDTelevision

    As European and Chinese officials continue their debates in Brussels at the EU-China summit, the cancellation of the customary press conference scheduled for tomorrow’s closing event is drawing questions.

    [Bruno Waterfield, Telegraph London Journalist]:
    "I would like to ask you some questions about spinelessness of EU officialdom in terms of the press conference."

    [Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, European Commission Spokeswoman]:
    "The reference to spinelessness I do not understand. It does take, and I am sorry to repeat myself from the past, but it takes two spines to tango I would say."

    The conference would have featured EU leaders and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

    But according to one EU official, the Chinese regime insisted to be given a list of the names of the journalists that would be attending and have the right to vet them. The EU refused.

    [Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, European Commission Spokeswoman]:
    "It was not possible to find conditions, to agree conditions that would have enabled the press conference that we would have liked to take place."

    The EU said it would hold a briefing for journalists after the summit, but without Chinese officials present.

    According to the International Press Association (API), Belgium's foreign press association, the Chinese delegation had requested limiting the press conference to 50 journalists, 25 accredited by the Chinese and 25 non-Chinese accredited by the EU.

    Similar issues prevented a press conference taking place last time the EU-China summit was held in Brussels when the Chinese side wanted to veto journalists from medias they disapproved of, the API said. Back in June, when Chinese leader Hu Jintao visited Denmark, the Chinese embassy their used its leverage to block NTD reporters from obtaining press passes.

    The EU-China summit is a routine, biannual, top-level meeting focusing on bilateral ties and global issues.

    Thursday's meeting is expected to concentrate on European efforts to resolve the debt crisis, China's concerns about EU trade tariffs and disagreements on the handling of Iran and Syria.

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