FM: Ties with Europe remain on solid ground

Cooperation between China and the European Union far outweighs any competition between them, and the two sides share more consensuses than differences, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.

“China and the EU are each other’s opportunity rather than threat, and we are bound by the community of shared future in the globalized world,” Wang told reporters after meeting with visiting Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok in Beijing.

China has always attached importance to Europe and pursues a positive policy toward the continent, he said.

This year, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Li Zhanshu all chose Europe as the destination for their first visits.

Wang said that China firmly supports the integration process of Europe, the unity and growth of the EU and a greater role for Europe in international affairs.

“This support is not an expediency and will not change because of individual events or periods,” he added.

Noting that the Netherlands is a founding member of the EU and has long been a forerunner among European countries in developing relations with China, Wang said he hopes both sides will continue to cherish and carry forward the tradition.

Last month, Blok gave a speech on the Dutch government’s China strategy, which Wang said was a “timely, positive and balanced” presentation.

China and the Netherlands need to support openness and connectivity and oppose isolationism, Wang said, adding that China hopes to improve connectivity with the Netherlands in aviation, ports, logistics and customs, and engage in third-party cooperation in Asia and Africa.

Blok said that the world is changing rapidly, and the Netherlands is finding a new balance in its relationship with China.

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The Netherlands seeks to work with China on issues like logistics, agriculture, food, climate change and sustainable development goals, Blok added.

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