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China, EU summit ends without formal climate statement due to trade dispute

The EU-China summit ended June 2 with the parties failing to agree on a formal climate statement due to differences over trade and steel production.

However, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President of the European Council Donald Tusk reiterated their commitment to continue efforts to reduce carbon emissions without the U.S., which backed out of the Paris Agreement on climate change a day earlier.

"The fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the U.S.," Tusk said during a news conference with Li and EU CEO Jean-Claude Juncker.

The leaders could not agree on a final 60-point statement because of China wanting the EU to eventually recognize Chinese economy as driven by the market rather than the state, a summit participant told the newswire.

This also means that there will be no deal to jointly address the problem of global overcapacity in steel production, with China's output rising almost double the EU's total production, while western governments blame Chinese exports for causing a global steel price crisis.

Also, Juncker referred to a World Bank report that places China at 78th out of 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business during a business conference before the formal one-day summit began.

France, Germany, and Italy reportedly suggested against allowing Chinese investment into the bloc partly because European companies are denied similar access to China and also due to the risks of China obtaining its technology.

In response, Li said China is working hard to create a trade balance, and that foreign investment opportunities are far different from when China initially opened its market.

"I do hope you can put things into context. We find the problems, but we are working on them. ... Our ranking is getting better," Li said.