China and the EU will start negotiating an expanded strategic partnership that would include 22 sectors and key issues like sustainable development, anti-terrorism and weapons proliferation, state media reported. The move was announced Wednesday as part of a visit by EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner who met with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. The agreement follows up on talks started last September in Helsinki during which China and the EU decided to update the 1985 Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement that provides a legal basis for bilateral relations. No deadline has been set for the negotiations that could take about two years. Europe is China's biggest trading partner while China is the second-largest trade partner for the EU. Bilateral trade hit US$260 billion in 2006.