Strategic partners

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-06 07:05
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President Hu Jintao's visits to France and Portugal will push relations between China and the two European Union (EU) member states to new levels. It will strengthen cooperation between China and the EU on economic and multilateral fronts.

France and China have chosen independent diplomatic paths and cooperated for a steady growth in trade and economic fields.

That Hu and French President Nicolas Sarkozy officiated at the signing of a record trade bill, which includes the sale of more than 100 Airbus planes and deals in nuclear power projects, in Paris on Thursday speaks volume of the great potential of bilateral trade.

After France, Hu will visit Portugal. Accompanied by a large business delegation, he will officiate at the signing of a series of trade deals between China and Portugal, which would be a timely support to the southern European country's sluggish economy.

The thriving trade ties between China and France and Portugal will not only benefit the three countries, but also contribute to the economic recovery of the entire EU bloc.

Given their importance on the regional and international stages, China and the EU have to shoulder great responsibilities in world affairs. They have to help the world economy recover, fight climate change and facilitate global governance reform. Now that the international situation is undergoing drastic changes, it is necessary for the two sides to coordinate and push for effective solutions to these thorny problems.

Frequent, top-level exchanges and communications between leaders on the two sides will help cement mutual understanding and deepen mutual trust, and pave the way for effective and pragmatic cooperation on the bilateral as well as multilateral level.

Since France will take over the rotating chairmanship of the G20 in mid-November, and Portugal is to serve as a non-permanent United Nations Security Council member, Hu's visits will also benefit Sino-EU cooperation on these important international platforms.

China needs the support of the EU to push forward global governance reform so that it better reflects the reality of today's world affairs and better serves developing countries.

China expects EU member states to take a more balanced and objective view of its growing presence in global economic and political fields. China remains committed to the road of peaceful development and is willing to shoulder more international responsibilities within its capacity.

Perceiving China as a partner and friend, rather than a competitor or threat, will better serve the interests of the EU. Therefore, the two sides need to respect each other's major concerns and core interests, because this will be important for the steady growth of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and EU member states.

(China Daily 11/06/2010 page5)