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China-Europe cooperation remains stable amid European uncertainties

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-28 15:31

STABLE RELATIONS AMID EUROPEAN UNCERTAINTIES

The year 2017 saw great uncertainties in Europe. "Brexit negotiation has just passed stage I. Stage II and stage III will be much tougher," Lai said.

On Dec 15, leaders of the 27 EU members who gathered in Brussels for the winter EU summit approved the second phase of Brexit talks.

According to a guideline submitted by the General Secretariat of the European Council to the leaders, negotiations in the second phase can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken during the first phase are respected in full and translated faithfully into legal terms as quickly as possible.

"Besides, we are still waiting to see if Germany will sign up with France for an ambitious plan for further EU integration," Lai added.

But Lai believes that despite so much uncertainty facing the EU, its relations with China will not be affected, "as China is its second largest trade partner and key partner in international affairs."

"Europe is at a phase of reform and European integration is at a crossroad as populism has swept the continent," Zhao said. "Whether Europe will deepen its integration or prevent such events as Brexit, China will not interfere in the continent's internal affairs."

"Notwithstanding the various uncertainties in Europe, China's Europe policy remains consistent and rock-firm," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a symposium in December. "We firmly support the European integration process and welcome EU's unity and development."

"We are committed to managing and handling differences on the basis of mutual respect, and will work to expand converging interests and explore new growth areas in regional cooperation to enrich and expand the strategic substance of China-Europe relations," Wang said.

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