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Xi stresses key role of ties with EU

By Cao Desheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-12-01 23:29
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Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with visiting President of the European Council Charles Michel at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Dec 1, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Relations: Nation to intensity strategic communication

President Xi Jinping urged the European Union on Thursday to adopt an objective and correct approach toward China, properly handle differences between them, promote high-level cooperation in various fields, and work together on global challenges to promote world peace and development.

Xi made the remarks in talks with European Council President Charles Michel, who was in Beijing for a visit to China.

During their talks, Xi also mentioned Comrade Jiang Zemin, saying that Jiang passed away on Wednesday in Shanghai due to illness after medical treatment had failed. He said that when Jiang was Chinese leader, he attached great importance to the development of China-EU relations.

Jiang visited European countries many times, maintained close interactions with leaders of the EU and European countries, pushed for the establishment of the mechanism for the China-EU leaders' meeting, and promoted dialogue and cooperation between the two sides in various fields, Xi said.

Noting that China and the EU are two major forces upholding world peace, two big markets promoting common development and two great civilizations promoting human progress, Xi said that China-EU relations that maintain good momentum for further growth and adhere to mutual benefit and win-win results conform to the shared interests of both sides as well as the international community.

The more turbulent the international landscape becomes and the more prominent the challenges are, the greater the global significance that China-EU relations enjoy, he said.

China will continue to view and develop its relations with the EU from a strategic and long-term perspective, and stands ready to intensify strategic communication and coordination with the EU to advance the steady development of their comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said.

Xi briefed Michel about the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China as well as the Chinese path toward modernization, saying that China's development represents the growth of forces to promoting world peace.

He assured the EU leader that China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, stating that this is a solemn political commitment of the CPC and also reflects the will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people.

The nation has the confidence and capability to constantly inject certainty and stability into the world with its own stable system, governance, policy and development, Xi said.

Noting that Chinese modernization and European integration are their respective future-oriented choices, Xi said that China hopes the EU will be its partner in pursuing the Chinese path toward modernization and enjoy the opportunities of its huge market, its institutional opening-up and its efforts to strengthen international cooperation.

He stressed that there are no strategic disparities and conflicts between China and the EU, and China supports the strategic autonomy of the EU and the unity and prosperity of Europe. He expressed his hope that the EU could reject the Cold War mentality and ideological confrontation, and oppose various forms of a new "Cold War".

He called for maintaining communication and consultation between China and the EU on their differences with a positive attitude, with emphasis on respecting each other's major concerns and core interests, particularly in terms of respecting sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and noninterference in domestic affairs, to jointly uphold the political foundation of China-EU ties.

China is willing to hold a human rights dialogue with the EU based on equality and mutual respect, he added.

Xi reiterated China's commitment to high-standard opening-up to the rest of the world, and welcomed the EU's continued involvement in the nation's efforts to build a new development paradigm for win-win cooperation.

Both sides should strengthen coordination in macroeconomic policy, leverage their strengths in markets, capital and technology, jointly boost growth engines in the digital economy, environmental protection, new energy and artificial intelligence, and work together to ensure secure, stable and reliable industrial and supply chains, he said.

Xi urged the EU to work with China to oppose protectionism, decoupling and disruption of industrial and supply chains, as well as politicizing economic, trade and technological exchanges or using them as a weapon.

While reaffirming that China will remain open to European enterprises, Xi expressed his hope that the EU would provide Chinese companies with a fair and transparent business environment.

In terms of strengthening international coordination and cooperation, Xi called for both sides to lead global efforts in coping with the challenges arising from climate change and biodiversity protection, energy and food security, and public health, and he welcomed the EU's participation in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative.

Michel congratulated Xi on his reelection as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, and, on behalf of the EU, expressed his deep condolences on the passing away of Jiang Zemin.

He called China an important partner of the EU in upholding the United Nations Charter and supporting multilateralism.

Michel expressed the EU's willingness to promote dialogue and cooperation with China and properly handle their differences. He reiterated the EU's commitment to the one-China policy, respect for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and noninterference in China's domestic affairs.

Michel said that as China's reliable and predictable cooperative partner, the EU is willing to continue to work with China to advance the process of the China-EU investment agreement, enhance mutual trust in the stability of supply chains and intensify mutually beneficial cooperation.

The two leaders also exchanged their views on the Ukraine crisis. Xi said that a political settlement of the crisis conforms to the interests of Europe and the shared interests of all countries in the Eurasian region.

Under the current circumstances, efforts should be made to avoid the escalation of the crisis, Xi said. He called for facilitating peace talks, bringing the spillover effects of the crisis under control and remaining vigilant to the risks of confrontation between blocs.

China supports the EU in boosting its efforts to resolve the crisis and building a balanced, effective and sustainable security framework in Europe, he said, adding that the nation always stands on the side of peace and will continue to play a positive role in its own way.

Michel also met on Thursday with Premier Li Keqiang and Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature.

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