China and Spain announced a
strategic partnership yesterday on the second day of President Hu Jintao's
state visit to Spain.
The joint declaration was made after talks between Hu and Prime
Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who visited China in
Hu said that, over the years, Spain and China have built strong
ties in a range of areas, including economy, culture, tourism and
But under the strategic partnership agreement, "bilateral relations
will enter a new phase of development," he stressed.
To date, China has strategic partnerships with Britain, France and
Germany in the European Union.
Addressing the Spanish parliament earlier yesterday, Hu told
legislators that both countries have significant common
As a sign of closer bilateral cooperation, the two countries inked
13 accords covering a wide range of fields such as extradition,
economy, trade, science and technology as well as culture.
In line with the deals, Spanish firms will be allowed to
participate in the Chinese nuclear energy sector.
Spain is the final leg of Hu's three-nation European tour, which
has taken him to Britain and Germany.
Yesterday morning, Hu was officially greeted by King Juan Carlos at
the Pardo Palace. The two are scheduled to preside over a seminar
today to be attended by more than 600 business representatives from
In an interview with China Daily, Jose-Pedro Sebastian de
Erice, Spain's Ambassador to China, said Spain welcomes a peaceful
and prosperous China and hopes cooperation in more fields.
He added that the two countries have collaborated on environmental
protection, developing renewable energies and public works.
He revealed that Spain would open the Instituto Cervantes, a center
to promote the Spanish language and culture, in Beijing next
Spain will stage a Cultural Year of Spain in 2007 in China, while a
Chinese Arts Festival will be held in Spain the same year,
according to de Erice.
On Sunday afternoon, Hu met with former International Olympic
Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who co-chairs the
He spoke highly of Samaranch's role in promoting Sino-Spanish ties
and his painstaking efforts to run the forum.
Hu also commended Samaranch for his support to the development of
the Olympic movement in China.
Spain has experience in hosting the Olympics and other major sports
events, and China and Spain can strengthen exchanges and
cooperation in the run-up to the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Hu
Samaranch said he is convinced that the 2008 Olympic Games would be
a great success.
(China Daily November 15, 2005)