Business / Economy

EU-China relations develop steadily

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-03 10:28

BRUSSELS - EU-China relations have been developing steadily since Chinese President Xi Jinping's European visit in April 2014, said an expert in a interview with Xinhua, noting the great progress the EU and China have made in stepping up friendship and cooperation in one year.

Speaking at the College of Europe in the Belgian city of Bruges on April 1, 2014, President Xi called for China-EU to enter into a relationship of peace, growth, reform, and progress of civilization. Xi said bridging existing gaps would make the China- EU strategic partnership take on even greater global significance.

Prof Men Jing, director of the EU-China Research Center at the College of Europe, said EU-China relations had expanded steadily in the areas of political, economic and social-cultural cooperation in 2014.

Jing said the EU and China share responsibilities for promoting peace and cooperating on global governance, exemplifying the two had developed "a good track record of communication and coordination on the Iranian nuclear issue" and kept close dialogue on important international and regional security issues.

She also listed the two were engaged in negotiations over an update of the World Trade Organization's Information Technology Agreement last year.

In 2014, trade between China and the EU reached over 568 billion euros ($615 billion), up 9.9 percent year-on-year. The exports between the two countries create millions of jobs for both sides, Jing said.

Meanwhile, China's investment in the EU has further increased and has become, as of mid-January, a net outward foreign investor.

"The EU and China are actively engaged in bilateral investment agreement, which may be concluded by the end of this year, if negotiations go quickly," the professor added.

In the field of people-to-people exchanges, "Six million people traveled between China and EU countries in the past year, and on top of that, more student exchanges have been developed between the two sides, which will further promote the future development of bilateral relations," Jing said.

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