President of the European Commission (EC) Romano Prodi said in Brussels Monday that the European Union (EU) and China should develop all-round cooperation because it is in the interests of both sides.
In an interview at the EC headquarters with Chinese journalists, Prodi said that the sixth summit meeting to be held between the EU and Chinese leaders in Beijing very soon would give impetus to further development of bilateral ties in general and cooperation in such key sectors as politics, economy, education, science and technology as well as cultural exchange in particular.
"It is a very important meeting because this is my first time to meet with China's new leadership," he said.
The meeting would provide a chance for strong bilateral relations to grow into closer cooperation, he said.
Prodi said that China is a key player in world issues and this was demonstrated in China's efforts made in the resolution of both the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Iraq issue.
The EU is also an important force and cooperation between the EU and China is beneficial to both parties, he added.
He also expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral economic relations, saying that bilateral trade, currently standing at the level of 115 billion euros (US$132 billion), is developing fast because China and the EU have complementary economies. "I see a lot of complementarities," he said.
Meanwhile, Prodi said that China and the EU should deepen their cooperation in science and technology and education because they need to know each other better.
The EU would try to make European universities more tempting to Chinese students in the years to come by enhancing education quality and financial commitment, Prodi stressed.
(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2003)