EP president: 'China is a lion awakening'
Updated: 2006-07-07 09:42
European Parliament (EP) President Josep Borrell hailed the rapid economic
growth of China two days before he leaves for China on July 7 for a
Comparing China to an "awakening lion,"
Borrell said China has undergone "huge" changes over the past 13 years.
His upcoming visit marks EP President's first visit in the past 13 years.
"Napoleon said China is a sleeping lion, but I think now China is a lion
awakening," Borrell said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
The EP president said China's economic growth was "miraculous," citing the
fact that it had recently overtaken Britain and France to become the fourth
largest economy in the world.
"China is producing everything, and it is the
manufacturing center of the globe. We Europeans believe China is a lion
awakening," said Borrell.
Borrell's last China tour dated back to 1988 when he was a senior official of
the Spanish government. Borrell said he was then impressed by Shanghai, and
later he read a lot about China, especially those books about Chinese history
Borrell said he liked Chinese food so much that he even befriended a boss of
a Chinese restaurant near his house.
In 2005, Borrell became the first EP President who formally extended the
greeting of "happy new year" to the Chinese people through a TV channel, which
enjoyed widespread applause in China.
"I was very pleased to have this opportunity to address
the Chinese people and to express the EP's best wishes for the Chinese 'year of
the dog'," he said. "It is a very important tradition for your people and such
gestures will help us to get to know each other better."