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China, EP urged to promote Sino-EU ties
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The National People's Congress (NPC) of China and the European Parliament (EP) should contribute more to the long-term healthy development of Sino-European Union relations and serve as an important impetus to the further promotion of the ties, a senior NPC member said  in Brussels on Monday.

Zha Peixin, vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC and chairman of the NPC-EP Relations Group, told the first day talks of the 26th China/EP inter-parliamentary meeting that to enhance the Sino-EU relations, the NPC and EP should deepen mutual trust, and look at the other side's development more positively, which should be considered as new opportunities instead of threats.

"Both sides should take concrete measures to promote China-EU economic and trade cooperation, push forward people-to-people exchange and cooperation, and to promote cooperation and exchanges on major international and regional issues so as to jointly safeguard world peace and stability and contribute to common development," he said.

He also said that the NPC and the EP should seriously address the other side's concerns, and properly and cautiously handle sensitive issues, such as those related to territorial sovereignty and other core interests.

"To promote mutual benefits and cooperation and work for common development is a trend of the times. We hope that the NPC and the EP can play a bigger role in this regard," said Zha.

Zha noted that although China and the EP had differences, "the mutual interests are increasing" against the backdrop of "globalization and economic multi-polarization."

His views were echoed by Dirk Sterckx, chairman of the EP delegation for relations with China.

Sterckx told Xinhua that it is important to "agree to disagree" and to continue to talk to each other under different circumstances.

He expressed his hope that the EP and the NPC could work together to enhance the EU-China relationship.

At the meeting, members of Sterckx' delegation and other EP members expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, last month, and spoke highly of China's quick and effective disaster-relief efforts.

Meanwhile, the EP members said they were encouraged by the recent positive developments in cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

During their discussion on Monday, both sides mainly focused on political issues, including EU-China relations, global and regional security, and religion, human rights and legal system.

They will resume their talks on Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2008)

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