China, EU aim for enhanced relations, says Chinese FM

DM Monitoring

BERLIN: China and the European Union (EU) are facing an important opportunity to develop better bilateral relations and the two sides need to strive for progress in six areas, said visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.
Wang made the statements at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, when answering a reporter’s question over his expectations of the development of China-EU ties and cooperation.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU, and the first year of the new EU institutions. It is also an important year for Germany to assume its Presidency of the Council of the EU once again, said Wang.
Under the current circumstances, he said, China-EU relations face an important opportunity for further development.
First, the two sides need to make preparations for China-EU high-level exchanges in the next stage, to chart the course for bilateral cooperation.
Second, China and the EU should conclude within this year negotiations on the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which have entered the final stage. Both sides need to step up their efforts and make political decisions when necessary so as to find a solution to the outstanding issues, he said.
Third, both sides should sign the China-EU 2025 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation as soon as possible, to provide blueprints and frameworks for dialogues and cooperation.
Fourth, China and the EU should unswervingly advance international cooperation on climate change and take new actions to this end, Wang said, adding that China has already fulfilled its 2020 emissions reduction commitment two years ahead of schedule and is actively working on medium- to long-term targets.
Fifth, China and the EU should also strengthen cooperation in the digital economy.