Chinese foreign minister and EU senior diplomats agreed Wednesday to improve political trust and expand reciprocal cooperation to further enhance 30-year-old relations.
After meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao, three EU diplomats, in Beijing for two days, also held talks with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
The EU visitors include Jean Asselborn, foreign minister of Luxembourg, which holds the rotating EU presidency, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU external relations commissioner, and a representative of the UK foreign secretary.
Topics discussed included the EU's 16-year-old arms embargo to China, textile trade disputes and the Taiwan issue.
"Building a China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership is the correct choice for both sides’ interests, as well as for world peace and stability," Li said.
He suggested that China and the EU should maintain high level visits, improve communication and coordination in key international and regional issues and expand cooperation in trade, science, education, regional development and environmental protection.
The EU representatives said the EU is delighted with the fast development of relations with China and that they are ready to improve cooperation.
Wen said he hoped both China and the EU would strive to improve mutual political trust and expand cooperation in economics and trade.
"Given the current complicated international situation and continuous globalization, the development of a comprehensive strategic partnership will benefit long-term interests and Asia-Europe cooperation," Wen said.
Referring to China as a responsible partner in global affairs, the visiting diplomats said the EU and China share opinions on building multilateralism. "We also share common responsibilities in maintaining world peace and development."
The diplomats expressed the EU's wishes to expand cooperation in trade, investment, education, science and technology, environmental protection and energy supply.
The visit came on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two sides. During their stay in Beijing, they are also scheduled to meet with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan.
In 2004, bilateral trade hit US$177.3 billion, increasing 73 times from that in 1975. Currently, the EU is China's top trade partner and China is the EU's second largest.
(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2005)