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State councilor: China, EU should deepen comprehensive strategic partnership

Updated: Mar 19,2019 2:19 PM     Xinhua

BRUSSELS — China and the European Union (EU) should continue to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance strategic communication and dialogue, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on March 18.

Wang made the remark when meeting with foreign ministers from the 28 EU member states. Wang said the meeting was the first of its kind since China and the EU established diplomatic ties 44 years ago and was a sign of increased mutual trust between the two sides, and would send a clear signal to the world that China and the EU would strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Wang pointed out that President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to three European countries fully demonstrates the importance China attaches to Europe. “We have noticed that China-EU relations are becoming more stable, mutually beneficial and strategic, and the two sides share more common interests, a bigger common ground and more common goals,” he said.

Although both sides have differences on some specific issues, cooperation has always been the mainstay of the China-EU relationship. In face of the complicated international situation, China and the EU should continue to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership, enhance strategic communication and dialogue, properly handle differences, demonstrate solidarity and mutual trust, and promote mutual benefit and win-win results. This is a shared responsibility for both sides, Wang said.

Wang emphasized China’s firm support to the European integration process, the EU’s unity and growth, and Europe’s more important role in international affairs. These “three supports” are based on China’s strategic grasp and long-term thinking of the evolution of the international situation. They are not an expedient measure, not targeted at any third party, nor will they affected by any momentary incidents that happen during the China-EU exchanges.

“We hope to see a multi-polar world, democratic international relations and more beneficial, inclusive and win-win globalization,” Wang added.

During the dialogue, Wang briefed the European foreign ministers on the latest developments regarding the joint construction of the Belt and Road, the 16+1 cooperation format between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, China’s development prospects and human rights protection, as well as the Venezuelan and Afghan issues.

The foreign ministers spoke enthusiastically and the two sides interacted actively, which enhanced mutual understanding.

The EU member states’ foreign ministers praised the dialogue for being constructive and effective and affirmed the ten-point consensus between China and the EU.

Highlighting the importance of the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership and the close attention they paid to China’s rapid development and reform process, the foreign ministers expressed their willingness to work with China to cement strategic coordination and jointly cope with global challenges, so as to maintain multilateralism and promote world stability and development.