China / Politics

Intensive visits strengthening China-Europe ties

( Updated: 2012-04-24 13:52

The recent intensive number of visits or plans to travel to Europe by high-level Chinese officials shows the continent's growing significance in China's diplomacy, the Oriental Morning Post reported on Tuesday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is currently on his European four-nation tour of Iceland, Germany, Sweden and Poland from April 20 to 27. Wen's visit to Iceland is the first official visit by a Chinese premier to the island since the two nations established diplomatic relations 41 years ago. Meanwhile, his visit to Sweden will be first time for a Chinese premier in 28 years and Poland in 25 years.

On the day when Wen left for Europe, China's State Councilor Liu Yandong was already on her European tour to the UK, the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and Cyprus from April 12 to 21. And one day before Wen concludes his visit, Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang will start an official visit to Europe.

Such intensive high-level visits will boost, enrich and extend China-Europe relations, said Chen Yugang, vice dean of School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Shanghai-based Fudan University.

Economic cooperation is the major part of China-Europe relations and the debt crisis in Europe provides an opportunity to drive the ties to a more pragmatic direction, said Chen. "As China's development continues, the cooperating room and potential between the two sides grows," added Chen.

Strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation meets the demand of both sides' economic development, according to experts. The three major returns China wants from Europe reportedly include recognizing China's complete market economy status, loosing up restrictions of European high-tech export, and lifting the arms embargo to China. 

Hot Topics