CPC to institutionalize talks with European parties

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The Communist Party of China (CPC) will institutionalize its contact with political parties from European countries, said a senior CPC official Wednesday.

Li Jinjun, vice minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a press briefing after the conclusion of the second China-Europe High-Level Political Party Forum.

The forum, which kicked off on Monday and attracted 80 senior officials from European parties, serves as a platform for officials to exchange views.

"Chinese and European sides will make efforts to ensure the forum is held at least once a year," Li told reporters, adding that permanent contact between China-EU political parties constitute an important part of bilateral relations.

According to Li, the two sides agreed to add a session in Brussels in the second half of this year.

Martin Schulz, chair of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, spoke highly of the forum, saying the open-minded forum offered a unique experience for him to sit together with his colleagues and even political competitors.

Over 30 European political parties and party groups, such as the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, and the Union for a Popular Movement of France, sent senior leaders to attend the forum.

The theme for this year's forum is "China's 12th Five-Year Plan and Europe 2020 Strategy: New Opportunities and Prospects for China-Europe Cooperation."

As this year marks the 90th anniversary of its founding, the CPC will see more events with political parties of other countries, Li said, noting the CPC will also conduct the third and fourth round of high-level dialogue with U.S. political parties.

"We hope to take the opportunity of the anniversary to display the CPC' s administrative concepts and methods to the world via inter-party channels," Li said.

Topics of inter-party talks are not confined to strictly governmental matters. Parties can also discuss various concepts and thoughts despite differences, and subsequently, the hope is that these talks will create a foundation for future consensus among different governments, Li said.

He added that the CPC is also willing to conduct dialogue with other parties on issues such as human rights.

Reinhard Buetikofer, vice-chairman of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, suggested the attended parties communicate under the CPC's framework of putting people first during the party-to-party exchange.

Although we are from different political sides, we still need to deepen understanding of each other and make strategic cooperative development, Buetikofer said.

Wang Hua, Director of Western European Affairs Bureau of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, encouraged a more open, wide-ranging discussion among countries.

"We hope this kind of forum can continue in order to promote greater discussion and cooperation," Wang said.

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