China held a reception in Beijing Thursday to mark the 30th anniversary of its diplomatic relations with the EU. Senior diplomats from both sides vowed to enhance dialogue and cooperation in all fields though their differences in trade, arms sales and human rights remain to be solved.
"It's a long-term strategy and a common choice that is in the fundamental interests of China and the EU to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership," State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan told visiting EU Troika senior diplomats before the reception in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Tang said that China and the EU should make good use of coordination mechanisms to grasp opportunities, eliminate disturbances and solve major concerns so as to better serve their fundamental interests.
The EU visitors, including Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's representative, the British Ambassador to China Christopher Hum, also hailed EU-China relations.
The relationship is based on the two sides' broad cooperation in trade, investment, legislation, environmental protection, science and technology, they said, noting the EU will strive to enhance cooperation and perfect its coordination mechanism with China.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told about 300 Chinese and EU diplomats and business people at the reception that China and the EU have conducted effective communication and cooperation in major international issues and fruitful cooperation in more than 40 sectors.
"China-EU trade in 2004 was 74 times of that 30 years ago, when the two sides established diplomatic ties, and now EU has become China's top trade partner and China is the second largest trade partner of the EU," he said.
Both China and the EU advocate multilateralism, stress the enhancement of the role of the UN and peaceful settlement of international disputes, Li said.
He said China and the EU share broad common interests in anti-terrorism, non-proliferation of mass destructive weapons, poverty relief, environmental protection, sustainable development and cracking down on cross-border crime. China vows to enhance political dialogue and cooperation in all fields with the EU, he said.
"China will, on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits, properly handle our differences and push forward cooperation," he said, adding China supports Europe's integration.
During their two-day visit to China, the EU visitors met with Premier Wen Jiabao and held talks with Li Zhaoxing on Wednesday.
(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2005)