New leaders will further EU ties: official
Updated: 2013-03-11 07:58
By Tuo Yannan (China Daily)
China's new leaders, who will be formally appointed during the two sessions, will continue to deliver on the nation's "impressive work" in boosting bilateral ties with Europe, said a senior European Parliament official.
"Do not forget next year it will be a new beginning for Europe as well because we will have new presidents for the European Commission and the European Council. It's a fresh new start for all of us," said Victor Bostinaru, a Romanian member of the European Parliament and vice-chair of the delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China.
Bostinaru said that high-level European Union officials will visit China after the annual sessions of the 12th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body. He said he expects further cooperation and closer bilateral ties politically and economically.
He also said Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, will visit China this fall.
The bloc of 27 member states is China's largest trade partner, and China is the EU's second-biggest trade partner, after the United States. In 2012, trade between the EU and China declined by 3.7 percent from the previous year to $546 billion. Many experts expect trade to exceed that dollar figure this year.
Bostinaru said the EU and China will soon begin to discuss this year's agenda, in which new areas of cooperation may be explored.
"The European Parliament has a very aggressive agenda for dialogue and my delegation will pay a visit to China in the beginning of April," he said. "From a government perspective, there is already a foundation to reach some agreements. An agreement on investments will be discussed with the new leadership this year, too."
He said Beijing's new leadership will continue its commitment to "cooperation with Europe".
"I am also convinced that the new Parliament will debate the importance of China very much," Bostinaru said.
He said that the new Chinese leadership has "vision and commitment" and will strive to improve what he calls an "important fundamental relationship with the EU".
Within China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), Bostinaru said he looks forward to working with Chinese officials on such issues as polluting emissions, climate change and international development. The two can better work together if each promotes cooperation rather than confrontation, he said.
He said that within China's three decades of economic growth, the nation's leaders overcame many challenges and improved the standard of living for its people.
"For the next five years, I am convinced that the Chinese leadership will tackle the gap between the rich and the poor, climate change and polluting emissions. The government's unique concept of ecological development and a commitment to new energy will become an important foundation for the China-EU relationship," Bostinaru said.
Liu Jia contributed to this story.
(China Daily 03/11/2013 page8)