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FM: Promotion of China-EU ties good for both sides, world
( 2003-07-01 14:49) (Xinhua)

Ties with the European Union (EU) are an important part of China's foreign relations, and the promotion of the relationship would benefit both sides as well as the whole world, said visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing here on Monday.

The minister made the remarks in a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, who hands over the EU's rotating presidency to Italy Tuesday.

Li said the China-EU partnership based on equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect is maturing day by day, and that both sides attach strategic importance to the relationship.

Consensus reached between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Greek Prime Minister Constantine Simitis in Russia's St. Petersburg is of great significance to the promotion of the relationship, Li said.

He suggested that efforts should be made to make the upcoming China-EU summit a success and that the momentum of dialogue at various levels between the two sides should be maintained. He also asked to expand cooperation in economics and trade, agriculture, environment, energy, information, and cooperation in infrastructure construction in China's west.

The Chinese foreign minister also asked for efforts to properly handle problems and disputes between the two sides and urged the EU to recognize China's status as a complete market economy and lift its ban on China's animal products as soon as possible.

He thanked the EU for its constructive attitude toward the Taiwan issue and its understanding and support for China's efforts to fight SARS.

The EU side expressed its satisfaction with the development of the relationship, and agreed to Li's proposals on the development of EU-China relations.

The EU leaders also appreciated China's active and constructive role in maintaining international and regional peace and stability, keeping good political and economic relations with its neighbors and China's efforts in international arms control and disarmament.

The EU side spoke highly of the dialogue with China on human rights and expressed its willingness to continue its cooperation with China in this field.

The EU leaders said the EU would stick to its "one China" policy and oppose to Taiwan's entry into any international organizations that require statehood.

As for China's status as a complete market economy, the EU said it would carefully consider China's concern.

The two sides also exchanged views on nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, weapons proliferation, the Middle East and the fight against terrorism.

The EU appreciated China's role in the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue and said it favors a peaceful settlement of the issue through dialogue.

Li held talks with Papandreou separately prior to this meeting.

Li arrived here Sunday at the invitation of Papandreou for talks with Greek and EU leaders.

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