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Premier talks to EU chief in phone call

Updated: Dec 01,2019 09:04 PM

Premier Li Keqiang had a phone conversation with European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen on Dec 1.

Premier Li congratulated von der Leyen on taking office.

He offered positive comments on the development of Sino-EU relations, and said as mutual major partners, both China and the EU firmly safeguard multilateralism and free trade.

China has been supporting the integration of Europe, the Premier said, adding the two sides should focus on their common interests and strengthen strategic communication and cooperation in all aspects to benefit China and the EU, as well as the whole world.

As the biggest developing country in the world, China still has a long way to go before realizing modernization, Premier Li said. But China will actively fulfill commitments made in the Paris Agreement and improve environmental protection while promoting industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, and make painstaking efforts to cope with climate change with the international community including the EU, he added.

Premier Li also welcomed newly elected EU leaders to attend the 22nd China-EU leaders’ meeting in China next year.

The phone call was made the day she took office, which shows the EU attaches great importance to EU-China relations, von der Leyen said.

The next year will be a milestone in the development of EU-China relations and the two sides will witness a series of major high-level exchanges, she said.

She expressed interest in going to China next year for the 22nd China-EU leaders’ meeting.

The EU and China enjoy common interests on issues such as sustainable development and investment agreement negotiations, she said.

The new European Commission will make climate change a priority and highly commended China’s efforts in this respect.

The commission is willing to strengthen cooperation with China concerning issues such as addressing climate change and reforming the World Trade Organization to promote the continuous development of the EU-China relations.