China and the European Union (EU) should continue to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance strategic communication and dialogue, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Brussels on Monday.

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, and would send a clear signal to the world that China and the EU would strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Wang pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to three European countries fully demonstrates the importance China attaches to Europe.

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 emphasised 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.

Foreign Ministers in Brussels
Photo: (March 18, 2019) Chinese State Councillor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends meeting with Foreign Ministers from the 28 EU Member States in Brussels – Belgium.

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.

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.

EU’s Juncker Expects EU-China Summit to be Fruitful

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday that he is willing to help the European Union (EU) and China achieve new progress on important issues, so as to make the EU-China Summit in April a success.

Juncker made the remarks when meeting Wang, who landed in Brussels on Sunday night and co-chaired the ninth round of the China-EU High-level Strategic Dialogue with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

Juncker asked Wang to convey his greetings and best wishes to the Chinese leaders, saying that he is looking forward to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Brussels.

Conveying the cordial greetings from Chinese leaders to Juncker, Wang spoke highly of the ninth round of the China-EU High-level Strategic Dialogue, during which he held a collective dialogue with foreign ministers of the 28 EU countries.

The first of its kind, the collective dialogue worked well, as it increased trust, dispelled doubts, enhanced understanding, built consensus and promoted cooperation, said Wang.

Noting that the China-EU Summit in April would be the last one in Juncker’s tenure, Wang said that China appreciates Juncker and his EU colleagues’ important contribution to China-EU cooperation.

Wang Urges UK to Promote ‘Golden Era’ of Bilateral Ties

Wang on Monday urged his British counterpart to fulfil UK’s promise to promote the “Golden Era” of bilateral ties.

Wang told British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in Brussels that the UK government has made the promise many times and called on the UK to properly handle issues affecting the healthy development of bilateral relations, so as to enhance mutual understanding and trust.

Hunt said the British side views China’s development in a positive way and is pleased to see China play a greater role in international affairs.

The UK is willing to work together with China to deepen the “Golden Era” partnership and some specific differences should not hinder the overall development of bilateral relations, Hunt said.