China, EU aim for better ties through progress in six areas: Chinese FM Wang

BERLIN, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — China and the European Union (EU) are facing an important opportunity to develop better bilateral relations and the two sides need to strive for progress in six areas, said visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.

Wang made the statements at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, when answering a reporter’s question over his expectations of the development of China-EU ties and cooperation.

A China-Europe freight train carrying medical supplies bound for Madrid of Spain departs the city of Yiwu, east China’s Zhejiang Province, June 5, 2020. (Photo by Lyu Bin/Xinhua)\

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU, and the first year of the new EU institutions. It is also an important year for Germany to assume its Presidency of the Council of the EU once again, said Wang.

Under the current circumstances, he said, China-EU relations face an important opportunity for further development.

First, the two sides need to make preparations for China-EU high-level exchanges in the next stage, to chart the course for bilateral cooperation.

Second, China and the EU should conclude within this year negotiations on the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which have entered the final stage. Both sides need to step up their efforts and make political decisions when necessary so as to find a solution to the outstanding issues, he said.

Aerial photo taken on April 3, 2020 shows a China-Europe freight train, also the “China Post” CR Express 1st block train, running under a bridge in Chongqing Municipality, southwest China. (Xinhua/Tang Yi)

Third, both sides should sign the China-EU 2025 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation as soon as possible, to provide blueprints and frameworks for dialogues and cooperation.

Fourth, China and the EU should unswervingly advance international cooperation on climate change and take new actions to this end, Wang said, adding that China has already fulfilled its 2020 emissions reduction commitment two years ahead of schedule and is actively working on medium- to long-term targets.

Fifth, China and the EU should also strengthen cooperation in the digital economy. Both sides have their own advantages and common concerns in developing the digital economy. “We should continue to open our markets to each other, strengthen cooperation in the technology industry and work for the formulation of standards, rules and regulations in the global digital field,” he urged.

Finally, the two sides should also strengthen support for multilateral institutions, backing the central role of the United Nations, the Security Council in particular, in maintaining world peace and security, speeding up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Wang added.

The Chinese foreign minister also said the two parties should uphold the core values and basic principles of the World Trade Organization, support the leadership and coordination role of the World Health Organization in helping countries overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.  ■

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