Foreign and Military Affairs

EU president seeks closer ties with China

Updated: 2011-05-15 15:39


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Embracing strategic partnership

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU. Also in the year, China launched its 12th five-year plan while EU started to carry out its 2020 strategy published in 2010.

The overlaps in the two grand blueprints entail huge potential for China-EU concerted actions in such areas as green growth and low-carbon economy, observers say.

China has become one of the world leaders in green technologies, Van Rompuy said in the article, adding that China's rapid growth is making an immense contribution to overall global development.

"The EU and China are key players in addressing global challenges... We can and we should do a lot more together," he said.

China-EU cooperation in various aspects has been deepening and broadening over the past two years along with frequent high-level dialogues and contacts.

"The key challenge of the coming years will be to preserve the climate of openness in our economic and trade relationships," Van Rompuy said.

With populism gaining some ground in political affairs, the risk of protectionism should not be underestimated, the president added.

China has been calling for the EU to remove major political obstacles in bilateral ties by lifting its long-standing arms embargo on China and recognizing China's market economy status.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said Thursday in Hungary: "If we can get rid of these obstacles, we will be able to march forward rapidly."

Van Rompuy said there was a political need to "understand China better" and also to "explain better the EU," especially after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

"A strong Europe playing its adequate role in global affairs is a work in progress... Developing a truly strategic partnership between the EU and China will take us a significant step closer," Van Rompuy said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in early May China was ready to make concerted efforts with the EU to push forward bilateral ties.

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