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Chinese Premier In EU Capital For Summit

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao (left) with EC President Jose Manuel Barroso at the opening ceremony of the first EU-China High Level Cultural Forum in Brussels on October 6.
An EU-China summit has opened in Brussels amid mounting Western pressure on Beijing to ease checks on the value of the Chinese currency, the yuan.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, speaking at a welcome ceremony for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, hailed the 27-member bloc's relations with China.

"The European Union-China commercial and economic relationship is one of the most important in the world and has become a major source of wealth, jobs, development, innovation for both sides," Barroso said. "It is right that we should also focus our efforts on expanding our relationship in other areas."

EU leaders are expected to press Wen to let the yuan rise in value faster. European and U.S. leaders accuse China of keeping the yuan undervalued in order to boost exports.

The chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, on October 5 said the EU appreciated China's June decision to let the yuan float more freely, but added the Chinese currency still "remains undervalued."

compiled from agency reports