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On 10 September, the Commission held its first High-level Digital Dialogue with China, in preparation for the videoconference between EU and Chinese Leaders on 14 September. Chaired by A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, and the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, this online dialogue covered key issues such as Information and Communication Technologies standard setting, Artificial Intelligence, Product Safety of articles sold online, Digital Taxation, and Research and Innovation.

Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, and  Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders also participated in the discussions, alongside their Chinese counterparts Vice Ministers Wang Zhijun, Wang Lingjun, Huang Wei and Liao Min.

Vestager said: “This first High-level Digital Dialogue was held today in a constructive atmosphere. It shows the central role that digitisation plays in our economies and societies. Something we also have seen during the coronavirus pandemic. The EU and China will both play a role in defining how global technological developments will go forward. The dialogue is therefore necessary to foster cooperation, but also to address divergences we have, like on reciprocity, data protection and fundamental rights.”

At the 2020 EU-China summit on 22 June, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel stressed that the development of new digital technologies must go hand in hand with the respect of fundamental rights and data protection. The EU had also raised outstanding issues on cybersecurity and disinformation. The EU stands ready to co-operate with China based on principles of sustainability, reciprocity and level playing field. You will find the press release here, and additional topical information here.

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