European Commissioner on Information Society and Media Viviane Reding on Wednesday spoke highly of the expansion of the ties between the European Union (EU) and China, noting the EU-China partnership makes "miracles."
Addressing a reception in Brussels marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU, Reding said both the EU and China have grown into a vital role in the international arena over the past 30 years and the EU-China partnership has been deepened.
In May 1975, China and the EU's predecessor, the European Community, set up diplomatic relations.
The commissioner said the EU has become the biggest trading partner of China while China is the second largest trading partner of the EU, adding that the bilateral trade volume has so far hit 180 billion euros.
In an interview with Chinese media at the interval of the reception, Reding said marked cooperation between the EU and China covers a wide range of fields like politics, science and technology, culture and education.
China has made miracles in its economic development over the past 20 years, and the EU-China partnership has also "made miracles," the commissioner added.
Reding said she hopes both sides can start talks on new partnership agreement to replace the current agreement, noting that the current one is "out of date."
Currently, the main legal framework for relations between China and the EU remains the "1985 EC-China Trade and Cooperation Agreement," which merely covers economic and trade relations as well as the EU-China cooperation program.
Guan Chengyuan, Chinese ambassador to the EU, told Xinhua during the reception that both China and the EU are "positive" over the talks.
"Both of us are making political and legal preparations," he said.
Last week, the European Commission said it hopes the talks on the new partnership agreement could start by the end of this year.
(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2005)