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China, EU should team up, Premier Li urges

Li Xiaokun
Updated: Apr 19,2017 7:21 AM     China Daily

China and the European Union should jointly press ahead with economic globalization and free and fair trade, Premier Li Keqiang said on April 18.

Premier Li made the remark at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in central Beijing as he met with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission.

China and the EU should “jointly send positive signals of maintaining regional stability and world peace, facing global challenges, reforming and perfecting the international governance system and pushing forward economic globalization and free and fair trade”, Premier Li said, according to a news release issued after the meeting.

He said both sides, as major global powers, should use their stability to confront changing international situations.

Premier Li said China supports the European integration and expects the EU to remain united, stable and prosperous.

Mogherini, an Italian politician, said the EU attaches importance to fulfilling its global duties. The EU is willing to cooperate with China to handle differences constructively, she added.

China and the EU will hold their seventh round of high-level strategic dialogues on Wednesday in Beijing. State Councilor Yang Jiechi will co-chair the talks with Mogherini.

The meeting will lay the groundwork for the 19th EU-China Summit in Brussels this June.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that both sides will “plan for the development of bilateral ties in the next stage and exchange in-depth views on global and regional hot spot issues of common concern”.

Mogherini told Xinhua ahead of her visit to China that “the European Union and China share the view of a global order based on multilateralism and on the UN system: Our cooperation has never been so important in a moment when multilateral global governance is put in question from many sides”.

She underscored that a greater engagement from China in world affairs can “open so many opportunities on so many issues of common interest”, noting a Chinese special envoy attended an international conference on Syria earlier this month and praising China’s crucial role in the Afghanistan peace process.

“If we act together, we can be an irresistible force for free and fair trade, for multilateralism and sustainable development,” she added.

Wang Yiwei, director of the EU Studies Center under Beijing-based Renmin University of China, said, “China and the EU now share more and more values.”

For instance, the EU insists on multilateralism as well as free and fair trade, while China has become a new advocate of globalization through projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

“That makes China an irreplaceable partner for the EU,” he added.