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Beijing reiterates support for EU integration

By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-18 07:42

China reiterated its support for continued European integration after US President-elect Donald Trump's comments on the process ignited concerns in Europe.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that China hopes to see a Europe that is prosperous and open, and which remains united and stable.

Beijing reiterates support for EU integration

Hua made the remarks when asked to comment on Trump's hailing of the United Kingdom's decision to exit the European Union, as well as the strong reactions it has stirred up in Europe.

In an interview in The Times in London published on Monday, Trump, who voiced support for Brexit during his presidential campaign last year, said that "Brexit is going to end up being a great thing", and that he believes "others will leave".

Refuting Trump's comments, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "Europeans hold our destiny in our own hands," while French President Francois Hollande said the EU "does not need external advice", Xinhua News Agency reported.

Feng Zhongping, vice-president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Trump's comments show his lack of support for European integration, a cornerstone of European policy since the end of World War II.

"Europe is an important power in a multipolar world," he said, adding that the integration process has brought peace and prosperity to Europe, while halting the process or a Europe that falls apart "will affect greatly on world order and stability".

Cui Hongjian, director of the Department for European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said the integration of the EU, China's largest trading partner, is in line with China's expectations of a balanced global strategic situation.

He said the ongoing process will mean deeper cooperation between China and European countries at a lower cost, as negotiations will remain at the EU level.

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