World / Europe

Members of European Parliament re-launch EU-China friendship group

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-09 10:00

BRUSSELS - Members of European Parliament who are friendly to China re-launched the EU-China friendship group within the new European Parliament Wednesday evening.

During the re-launching ceremony, head of the Chinese mission to the EU Yang Yanyi spoke highly of the role the group played in promoting bilateral ties, saying she is convinced that the group will play a leading role in the European Parliament to intensify cooperation.

"We particularly appreciate the group's deep appreciation of and kind support for China's stance on issues pertaining to its sovereignty and territorial integrity," she said.

Nirj Deva, chairman of the group and vice chairman of the European Parliament's Development Committee, noted that the group was originally founded eight years ago, on the belief that in an increasingly interdependent world, the EU and China could only benefit from a deeper relationship.

"With ever more pressing global issues like climate change, rising extremism and international markets, it is now more important than ever for us to build closer relationships, based on mutual understanding," said Deva.

The re-launch of the friendly group was based on the fact that a new European Parliament was in session for the first time in July, when the members of Parliament elected a new president.

The Friendship Group now consists of more than 45 members of European Parliament, including actors from seven political groups,

and coming from more than 20 countries.

Since 2006, the group has sent more than 10 delegations to China and has worked in close cooperation with the Chinese government to encourage understanding between the world's dominant trading partners.

Group members including Derek Vaughan, vice chairman of the group and vice chair of the budgetary control committee in the European Parliament, and Jo Leinen, a leader of the delegation for relations with China within the European Parliament were present at the ceremony.

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