New leadership highly values China-EU ties

Updated: 2013-05-28 03:19


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BERLIN - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's first visit to Europe, which took him to Switzerland and Germany, showed the new leadership of China highly values the country's ties with Europe, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday.

China-Europe cooperation enjoys great potential and broad prospect as the European economy is well-established and stands on firm ground despite its current difficulties, Wang said.

New leadership highly values China-EU ties

Premier Li visits four countries

"As Premier Li said, the world needs a united, prosperous and strong Europe," the minister said. "China has always been viewing its ties with Europe in a strategic perspective and supporting European integration and the region's role as an important pole in a multipolar world."

On the features of China-Switzerland ties, Wang said Switzerland is an important pioneer in developing China-Europe ties since the country is one of the first Western countries to recognize the New China, the first continental European country to recognize China's market economy status and will be the first continental European country to ink a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.

The conclusion of the FTA talks between China and Switzerland, secured during Li's visit, will not only deepen bilateral cooperation, but also serve as a model for the cooperation between China and Europe at large, Wang said.

Wang said the Chinese side highly appreciates Switzerland's exemplary role in promoting cooperation with China.

The minister said he believes the two sides will make joint efforts to blaze more new trails in the development of bilateral ties.

On the relations with Germany, Wang said Berlin is a forerunner in the development of China-Europe ties, and the country is the only European Union (EU) country included in Li's trip.

He said Germany, as a global industrial power, has exerted great influence in both the EU and the world, and China-Germany ties have always played a leading role in the development of China-Europe relations.

China is currently stepping up efforts to realize its industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, Wang said. "Germany's rich experience on these fronts will provide wide prospects for bilateral cooperation."

During his German trip, Li and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached important consensus on developing cooperation in the aforementioned fields, Wang said.

The Chinese premier's European trip also sent two important messages to the world, Wang noted.

The conclusion of the FTA talks with Switzerland shows China will unswervingly uphold the opening-up strategy with the principles of mutual benefits and win-win results, Wang said, adding that the acceleration of implementing its FTA strategy is a key move in China's opening-up policy.

In addition, by expressing China's opposition to the EU's trade actions into Chinese solar panels and mobile telecommunications equipments, Wang said the Chinese side reiterated its position of properly settling trade frictions through dialogue and consultation, as well as its determination to safeguard the liberalization and facilitation of world trade and investment.

Germany is the last leg of Li's first overseas trip since he assumed the premiership in March, which has already taken him to India, Pakistan and Switzerland.