The promotion of links between the European Union (EU) and China is one of Romania’s contributions to the global promotion of multilateralism, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Tuesday.

“Both the European Union and China are internationally highly important partners, connectivity between them … is actually a contribution we make to promoting multilateralism in the world,” the Minister told the international conference “The Future of EU-China Relations: Looking Beyond the Horizon”, organised by the Romanian Foreign Ministry and the country’s Academy of Sciences.

“We have several areas of interest. Firstly, in terms of foreign policy, but also in the development of the economy, the interconnectivity between Asia in general and the European Union,” Melescanu added.

Counsellor Yang Xiaoguang of the European Department of China’s Foreign Ministry, on behalf of the Chinese side, said that the China and EU are two strategic forces, two important markets, two old civilisations.

Developing the relationship with the EU is one of the top priorities of the Chinese diplomacy, Yang said.

Chinese leaders have chosen Europe as their first visit in this year, and a number of European leaders are visiting China. Such frequent, result-producing and high-level diplomatic meetings have been a strong political impetus for bilateral relations, he said.

“In the current context when multilateralism is facing important challenges, the global economic outlook is not promising, the world is on the eve of a new technological revolution, and both China and the EU are experiencing major development and changes, the further development of China-EU relations becomes more important than ever,” Yang stressed.

He also proposed five key words for China-EU relations, namely cooperation, coherence, connectivity, communication and common future.

He explained that China and Europe should see each other as partners, not opponents, although there is indeed competition between them.

China has always supported EU integration and hopes that the EU will also maintain coherence in its China policy. China and the EU should continue to promote synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and the EU European Interconnection Strategy.

The two sides should also strengthen mutual communication, enhance understanding and take care of each other’s core interests and major concerns. As human society has become a community with a shared future for mankind, China and the EU must work together to create a better future in response to the major global threats, Yang said.

Zoltan Martinusz, Director with the General Secretariat of the EU Council, said that the EU and China are the two major stable forces in the world and the two major economies. The cooperation with China is of positive significance for promoting EU development.

President of the Romanian Academy Ioan-Aurel Pop said that EU-China relations are strong and content-rich. Humanities exchanges are of great significance to promoting mutual understanding between the EU and China.

He also stressed that the Romanian Academy of Sciences is willing to uphold the consistent position and actively support the development of relations between Romania and China, as well as Europe and China.

The conference focused on the opportunities and challenges facing Europe-China relations in the future, the Eurasian interconnection in strategic initiatives, and the promotion of rule-based multilateralism in Europe and China.

Chinese Ambassador to Romania Jiang Yu attended the conference, together with nearly 100 official representatives and think tank scholars from China, Romania and other EU member states.