Chinese State Councillor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised China-EU relations, stressing that they are partners rather than competitors, and the consensuses reached between the two sides far outnumber their differences.

Wang made the remarks when meeting with EU High Representative Josep Borrell on the sidelines of the Asia and Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday.

China’s Policy toward Europe and the EU is consistent and stable, Wang stated, reiterating that China is highly attentive to its relationship with the EU and is willing to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation with the EU.

He also believed that the EU will become more united, inclusive and prosperous under the leadership of the new commission.

Wang suggested the two sides should treat each other as opportunities rather than threats, calling on the two sides to respect each other, learn from each other and settle differences through dialogues.

Wang said the two sides, as major powers in the world, share similar views on multilateralism, free trade, a UN centred international system and are both advocating for multi-polarisation.

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

Noting that next year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties, the two sides agreed to push forward the comprehensive strategic cooperation and enhance strategic cooperation in the international arena to a new level.

Borrell, for his part, spoke highly of China’s key role in major international and regional issues such as climate change and Iran nuclear issues, saying that the two sides should maintain their mutually beneficial relationship and settle differences through dialogues.

Inseparable Community of Shared Interests

At the joint press conference, Wang said China’s close ties with the EU is a “strategic choice” which will not be influenced by time.

The foreign minister also noted that China and the EU, as each other’s biggest trade partner and investors, have already become an “inseparable community of shared interests.”

He called on the two sides to learn from each other, meet each other halfway so as to turn the differences into impetus and to speed up the Synergy between the Belt & Road Initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia.