China, EU partners rather than competitors: Chinese FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/16 21:43:41

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi  (Xinhua/Hua Yi)

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that China and the European Union (EU) are partners rather than competitors as the consensus reached between the two sides far outnumber their differences.

"China firmly supports the European integration process, firmly supports the unity and growth of the EU, and firmly supports Europe to play a greater role in international affairs," Wang said after meeting with the EU High Representative ­Josep Borrell on the sidelines of the Asia and Europe Meeting Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Madrid, Spain.

Wang also suggested the two sides should treat each other as opportunities rather than threats, urging them to respect and learn from each other, and settle differences through dialogue.

"China and Europe have different historical and cultural backgrounds, and different development models of social systems. It is normal for some differences to exist, but differences should not be obstacles to mutual exchanges, but should be the driving force for mutual learning," Wang said. 

China opposes any interference in its internal affairs because this violates the basic norms of international relations, and China and the EU can conduct exchanges and dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect, Wang said.

He said the two sides, as major powers in the world, share similar views on multilateralism, free trade, the international system under the UN.

China and the EU, as each other's biggest trade partners and investors, have already become an "inseparable community of shared interests," Wang said. Trade between China and the EU far exceeds an average of a billion euro per day, Borrel said. 

Facing ever-changing international relations, Wang called for more strategic coordination between China and the EU to defend multilateralism, as well as peace and development of the world.

"There are global challenges, which cross borders. There are global crises, like climate change … and burning international issues, such as the future of the Iranian nuclear agreement," Borrel said. 

"The world cannot hope to resolve these questions without the active participation of the great country of China," he said.

As 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of relations between China and the EU, a special summit in Leipzig, Germany with all the member states of the European Union is scheduled in the second half of the year.


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