China and the European Union (EU), as comprehensive strategic partners, should work together to maintain the political foundation for bilateral cooperation and achieve greater progress in their relations in the post-pandemic era, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday.
In a phone conversation with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Wang noted that Spain is a major European country and an important cooperative partner of China in Europe.
Last year, the two countries carried out effective anti-epidemic cooperation, and economic and trade exchanges managed to grow amid broad downward pressures, Wang said.
China is willing to enhance coordination with Spain, focus on the post-pandemic era, deepen cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, and energy, strengthen tourism and people-to-people exchanges, and push for further development of China-Spain relations, he said.
Expressing his hope that Spain will provide a level playing field and an open business environment for Chinese companies, Wang called on the two sides to oppose unilateralism and protectionism, strengthen coordination and cooperation within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Group of 20 and the World Health Organization, enhance communication and coordination on issues such as climate change and sustainable development, jointly advance the reform of the World Trade Organization, so as to make positive contribution to improving global governance.
The Olympics is a traditional area of cooperation between China and Spain, Wang said, expressing gratitude to Spain for actively supporting the Beijing Winter Olympics.
China is willing to work with all parties to make the Beijing Winter Olympics a simple, safe and wonderful event, he added.
Wang stressed that China and Europe are partners, not rivals, and China's development is an opportunity, not a threat, to Europe.
Issues concerning Xinjiang and Hong Kong are China's internal affairs, he said, adding that China strongly urges the European side to act with prudence and refrain from interfering in China's internal affairs in any form, because doing so will only undermine mutual trust between China and the EU, and is not in the overall interests of the EU or the interests of its member states.
For her part, Gonzalez said that Spain-China relations are very stable and strong, and Spain attaches great importance to its relations with China.
She hoped to further strengthen bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges in the post-pandemic period and jointly safeguard international economic and trade rules.
She also welcomed Chinese companies to Spain to participate in the Mobile World Congress, saying that Spain will treat all foreign companies as equals and will not set discriminatory standards.
Spain will also take an active part in the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held this year in Kunming, China, and is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in protecting biodiversity and addressing climate change, she said.
Spain disapproves of "megaphone diplomacy" and is ready to hold constructive exchanges of views with China on the basis of mutual respect, strengthen dialogue between the EU and China and promote further development of EU-China relations, Gonzalez said, adding that Spain sees the Winter Olympics as an opportunity for athletes to get together and believes that the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a safe and wonderful event.
The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern.