BEIJING: Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday underlined the importance of relations with European Union after their annual summit talks.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L) and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (C), whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, in Beijing Dec. 1, 2009. [Xinhua]
"The Chinese government has always given one of its diplomatic priorities to the relations with Europe," Hu told Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and European Commission President Barroso Tuesday.
Both Reinfeldt and Barroso came to China for the 12th China-European Union (EU) summit, which took place in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Monday.
Hu said China would like to make concerted efforts with EU to push the relationship to a new high.
"Both sides should be far-sighted and keep the overall orientation of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership," Hu said in his hour-long meeting with Reinfeldt and Barroso.
Hu encouraged both sides to further explore the role of political dialogues at all levels, strengthen consultations on major international and regional issues, deepen strategic mutual trust and enrich the content of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.
Hu called for expanded China-EU cooperation at a higher level, and urged both sides to foster new areas of cooperation.
In the past 35 years, China-EU trade has grown remarkably as the trade value topped 425.58 billion US dollars last year, an increase of 19.5 percent over the year before.
"Both should keep in mind the overall situation of bilateral relationship and properly handle new issues and problems arising in the development process of China-EU relations," Hu said.
He proposed China and EU respect and take care of each other's major concerns and promote the sound, sustained and deep growth of China-EU relations.
"By doing so, we will build the China-EU relationship as a paradigm of how countries pursuing different social systems and different development modes can get along well and seek common prosperity," Hu said.
Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, praised China's effort to tackle the global financial crisis. He said EU would like to work with China, stand against protectionism and seek an early recovery of the world economy.
He called for bilateral greater cooperation on international issues and bigger roles in world affairs.
As Lisbon Treaty, "EU's Constitution," took effect on Tuesday, Reinfeldt said the treaty would help strengthen EU-China cooperation.
Reinfeldt lauded China's efforts to pursue a path of sustainable development and pledged stronger cooperation with China on climate change.
Barroso said EU viewed China's development as the positive contribution to promoting world peace and stability.
Confronted with changing international situation and global challenges, both should view and deal with differences from a strategic perspective, work more closely and seek a stronger bilateral relationship, Barroso said.