Business / Economy

China, EU take innovative way for close ties

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-27 15:30

BRUSSELS - China and the European Union have taken a more open and innovative approach, working to identify more common interests and fully tap the potential for cooperation, the head of the Chinese mission to the EU said in an article in a latest published European magazine.

"We have committed to stepping up negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement and launching a FTA feasibility study as soon as possible," said Yang Yanyi in the article carried by a latest special issue of the Brussels-based Parliament Magazine, which was released this week.

She said China and the EU have agreed to resolve trade disputes through dialogue and consultation and achieve the ambitious goal of booking $1 trillion in two-way trade by 2020. The two sides will also nurture new areas of cooperation in scientific and technical innovation, urbanization, as well as environmental protection, including climate change and maritime affairs.

Politically, both sides have pledged to respect each other's social systems and core interests, and support the pursuit of peaceful development, she said.

In the cultural area, Yang spoke highly of the freshly-concluded second High Level People-to-People Dialogue, which was held on Sept 6 in Beijing, saying the meeting set priorities and outlined the future for cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and the EU at a time when bilateral relations are entering a new era.

At the meeting, China and the EU agreed on a number of concrete measures: Firstly, China will offer more scholarships. China will provide 30,000 scholarships for Chinese and European students who will study overseas in Europe and China, while the EU promised to offer financial help to 7,000 students.

Secondly, the two sides will strengthen cooperation for innovation within the framework of the EU's "Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions" (MSCA), which supports the career development and training of researchers.

Furthermore, new initiatives will support youth groups to network and partner through Erasmus+ and the China-EU Youth Partnership for Friendship Program. Also, the two sides have agreed to carry out regular discussions and share best practices on the economic empowerment and political participation of women.

"The vibrancy of our cultural and people-to-people exchanges not only drives but also epitomizes the strength of China-EU relations," said Yang, noting when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Brussels in the spring, leaders of the two sides agreed to upgrade bilateral relations, fully implement the "China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation" and build a partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, thereby charting a new and accelerated course for bilateral cooperation.

There are over 5 million people traveling between China and Europe every year; there are currently more than 300,000 Chinese students in Europe and European students in China.

Moreover, as the two sides celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations, China and the EU can support each other in important new ways. And the two sides are both navigating "uncharted waters" in the development process, carrying out ambitious and visionary reforms, so China and the EU should support each other in this process, she said

"We are also committed to intensifying dialogue and coordination on strategic and security issues to promote stability and peace," she added.

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