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Wang Yi: China and the European Union (EU) Are Each Other's Opportunity Rather Than Threat

2019-06-19

On June 19, 2019, when jointly meeting the press with Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok of the Netherlands in Beijing, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed upon enquiry that the formal positioning of the relations between China and the European Union (EU) is comprehensive strategic partnership, which is the common goal set by the two sides in the practice of exchanges for decades. At present, the outside community has different comments on China-EU relations. However, the leaders of the two sides share the clear consensus that cooperation between China and the EU far outweighs any competition between them, that there are far more areas where the two sides agree than disagree, and that both sides are each other's opportunity rather than threat.

Wang Yi pointed out that we are in the 21st century and an era of globalization now and all countries enjoy highly intertwined interests and depend on each other. It is especially true between China and the EU. In this sense, we are actually a community with a shared future in the era of globalization.

We may have different territorial sizes and different diplomatic orientations, but we hope to promote multi-polarization and achieve democratization in international relations. Therefore, we support multilateralism and oppose unilateral practice.

We may differ in social system and development model, but we are participants in the current international system and order. Therefore, we advocate the maintenance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and adhere to the basic norms governing international relations.

We may vary in development stage and competitive advantage, but we fully get involved in the global division of labor and rely heavily on external cooperation. Therefore, we advocate the building of an open world economy and the maintenance of the multilateral trading system.

We may have different cultural traditions and different values, but we have a time-honored tradition of civilization. Therefore, we advocate dialogue and exchanges on an equal footing among civilizations to facilitate mutual learning.

Wang Yi stressed that the Chinese side has always attached importance to Europe and pursued a positive policy toward Europe. We firmly support the European integration process, the unity and growth of the EU, and Europe's greater role in international affairs. The "three supports" come from the Chinese side's strategic grasp of and long-term consideration for the trend of the times. It is not an expedient measure and will not change because of individual events or periods.

Wang Yi said we believe that with the passage of time and the development of China-EU relations, people will have a clearer understanding of the growing common interests between China and the EU, and will also better understand and support China and the EU's efforts to build China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization.

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