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With Premier Li in Europe, China set to deepen, enrich ties with EU

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-31 09:50
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BEIJING - Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Europe from May 31 to June 2 is expected to further deepen and enrich China's relations with the European Union (EU) at a time of increasing global uncertainty.

During the three-day visit, Li will travel to Germany and Belgium, where he will meet with European leaders in an effort to enhance mutual political trust and expand pragmatic cooperation between the two sides, to inject fresh impetus into China's relations with the two countries.

Root for a multipolar world

This will be Li's ninth visit to Europe and third to Germany since he took office as the premier in 2013. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a frequent visitor to China. Both European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel visited China last year.

Such frequent high-level exchanges between China and the EU testify the common grounds and interests shared by the two sides despite an ever-changing international landscape, and showcase their common desire for cooperation and development.

One of the most prominent features of China-EU interaction is their regular meetings, which have served as an important platform for Chinese and European leaders to work together and steadily promote the China-EU ties, noted Mei Zhaorong, former Chinese ambassador to Germany.

In Berlin, Li is scheduled to attend an annual meeting between the Chinese premier and the German chancellor, a mechanism that has been in place since 2004. In Brussels, the Chinese premier will attend the 19th China-EU leaders' meeting.

"These regular meetings have played a very positive role in strengthening mutual political trust and deepening practical cooperation between the two sides, and have kept pushing forward the China-EU relationship," said Mei.

Currently, Europe is facing a multitude of challenges such as the debt crisis, terror threats and the refugee crisis. With the isolationism signaled by US President Donald Trump, the United States has yet been clear on its policy towards Europe.

Despite these challenges, China has been pursuing a consistent and positive policy towards the EU, and has remained confident in its cooperation with the bloc, noted Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of China Institute of International Studies.

China is a supporter of European integration - the basis for a united, prosperous and stable EU and a strong euro - which is conducive to the development of a multipolar world featuring economic globalization and cultural diversification.

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