China and the European Union (EU) are enjoying their best relations ever in history, said Chinese President Jiang Zemin Wednesday.
The two sides are sharing the same views on more and more international issues, said Jiang when he met with Christopher Patten, a member of the EU's External Relations Commission.
Economic and trade cooperation has been expanded and exchanges in cultural and scientific fields promoted between the two sides, Jiang said.
He pointed out that China always regards its relations with the EU from the strategic height and long-term perspective.
Both China and Europe have a long-term history and splendid culture, and should get along well with each other, he said, adding that the two sides should further cooperation in all fields, and push forward their all-round, long-term and stable partnership.
Patten agreed to Jiang's view on relations between the EU and China, saying that China has one quarter of the population of the world, and its progress benefits the EU and the world as a whole.
He called the cooperation between the EU and China a good example of international cooperation, saying that enhancing exchanges with China is a correct choice of the EU.
EU Regards Ties with China as Priority: Patten
Visiting European Union Commissioner Christopher Patten said in Beijing Wednesday that the EU-China relationship is of vital importance, and the EU regards its relations with China in the political, economic, cultural and environmental protection fields as priority ones.
Patten made the remark while delivering a speech prior to a reception sponsored by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China in his honor.
He expressed the EU Commission's willingness to expand EU-China trade and economic relations, saying that about 400 small and medium-sized European enterprises will come to China later this year to seek business opportunities.
He said the EU will work closely with China in the new round of WTO negotiations to ensure that it becomes a more effective international organization.
He added that the EU Commission hopes to extend its cooperation into other areas such as space science, higher education, environmental protection and cracking down on international crime.
Patten emphasized that China's development will not pose a threat to the rest of the world, saying that it will be a real threat if China does not succeed.
He admitted that there exist some disagreements between the two sides, expressing the hope that these disagreements will abate over the years, and will not cast a shadow over the EU-China relationship.
"There is on both sides a recognition that the success of our relationship is just too important to allow our occasional disagreements to destroy what we are committed to, that is, to make sure the world becomes more prosperous and more stable," Patten said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2002)