China, Malta agree to jointly promote China-EU cooperation

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets with Maltese Foreign Minister Ian Borg in Valletta, capital of Malta, on Sept.16, 2023. [Photo/Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Maltese Foreign Minister Ian Borg agreed in Malta on Saturday that the two sides will work together to promote China-European Union (EU) cooperation.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said that China and Malta have always respected and treated each other as equals, which has set an example of friendly cooperation between countries of different sizes.

With strong political mutual trust and solid public support, the two countries have maintained a momentum of healthy and stable development, Wang said.

Noting that China appreciates Malta's repeated affirmation of its firm adherence to the one-China principle, Wang said that China, as a friend and partner, also firmly supports Malta in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests.

China welcomes Malta's serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2023-2024 term, and is willing to strengthen multilateral cooperation, jointly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, and defend international fairness and justice, Wang said.

China-EU cooperation outweighs differences and the two sides are partners instead of rivals, he emphasized, adding that they can fully appreciate and learn from each other.

China has consistently supported the EU's strategic independence and European integration, he noted.

Since China and the EU established a comprehensive strategic partnership 20 years ago, the scope and depth of cooperation have been continuously expanded, Wang said, adding that both sides should continue to maintain an open attitude, firmly support free trade, reject protectionism, and achieve the positive effects of China-EU cooperation.

Wang said he hopes Malta would continue to play a positive role in the development of China-EU relations.

Borg noted that Malta-China relationship is strong and enduring. Malta cherishes its friendship with China and consistently adheres to the one-China principle, which is a firm and clear position, he added.

He said that Malta looks forward to attending the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai, seizing opportunities in the Chinese market and further expanding Malta-China cooperation.

Malta agrees that the EU and China are partners, not rivals, and is willing to work together to promote EU-China cooperation and jointly address global challenges, said Borg.

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