[China-EU Relations] China highly values relationship with EU: FM

2010-03-07 14:08 BJT

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China has highly valued the relationship with the European Union (EU), Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Sunday, adding frictions, though inevitable, are not the mainstream of the relationship.

"China-EU relationship has moved in a positive direction on the whole and achieved much success in the pragmatic cooperation in many fields," he said, adding 2010 marks the 35th anniversary of China-EU relations.

Yang, at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliament session, said the EU is China's largest trade partner, with trade volume exceeding 360 billion U.S. dollars last year, and there are currently nearly 200,000 Chinese students studying in European countries.

Yang said China and EU differ in "cultural tradition, historical background, stage of development and social system."

Frictions are inevitable in developing relations with EU, but "they are not the mainstream for bilateral ties," he said.

He said both sides should properly handle issues through consultation based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and highlight the common interests in a wide range of areas.

Many EU leaders will visit Shanghai this year to attend the World Expo, while China is planning several visits to Europe by its leaders, he said.

The two sides should work together to enhance the comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

The EU has always been a very important part on the international stage and will play an "increasingly important role," Yang said. China attached importance not only to the relations with EU as a whole but also those with EU members.


Editor: James | Source: CCTV.com