A Better Future for China-Europe Relations*
The Diplomatic Channel section of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) and Novinite.bg is publishing an opinion article by China's Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Song Tao on the relations between China and the EU.
*The article was provided by the Chinese Embassy in Sofia. It is an excerpt from a longer article.
In the eight months since I became Vice Foreign Minister in charge of European affairs, I have paid nearly ten visits to Europe.
During each visit, I witnessed the tremendous efforts made by Europe to cope with the debt crisis, and I am very glad to see that some of these efforts are showing effect gradually. China has provided firm support to Europe since the outbreak of the debt crisis.
We contributed USD 43 B to the IMF, and provided assistance to 'europe within our capabilities through purchasing European treasury bonds and increasing imports from Europe. In my view, this is what we should do as the EU's comprehensive strategic partner.
Next year, we will mark the 10th anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. In spite of vicissitudes in the international landscape in the past decade, China-Europe relations have stayed on an upward track and scored new and important progress.
There have been frequent exchanges between our leaders, leading to enhanced mutual understanding and trust. The China-EU trade topped USD 560 B, representing a quadruple increase compared with ten years ago. China and Europe have also maintaned close consultation and coordination on climate change and other global issues.
China is a staunch supporter of the European integration. It is our consistent view that a united, stable and prosperous Europe is in the interest of the whole world, China inclued. When the European debt crisis was at its worst, some people in the world, including those from Europe, propagated the ideas of the "Euro collapse" and "EU's disintegration".
Yet China has never changed its view toward Europe, and remained confident about the future of European integration. As Premier Wen Jiabao said, "China is EU's trusted friend and cooperation partner."
The future of China-Europe relations will be brighter. As China moves to a high level in its development, the scope of cooperation between China and Europe will only become broader.
There will be increasing demand in China for European products, technology and investment. We need to draw new plans for our cooperation in trade, investment, finance, urbanization and sustainable development, and explore the possibility of establishing a China-EU free trade area.
At the same time, we need to properly handle our differences and disputes according to the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and do all we can to translate the huge potential of cooperation into reality, so as to bring more benefits to the people of both sides.
A promising future of China-Europe relations requires our joint effort to uphold a peaceful and stable international envrionment. Both China and Europe went through the havoc of the Second World War and our people were the victims of wars. No one knows better the preciousness of peace, or cherish today's peaceful environment more than us.
A peaceful and stable Asia-Pacific is in the interest of all parties in the world, including Europe. China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development and friendly cooperation with the people of all Asian countries. China and Europe are two important players in the world and each other's indispensable strategic partners for development. China is ready to work with Europe to make even greater contribution to world peace, stability and development.
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