Chinese ambassador elaborates on multifaceted ties with EU in online exchange

CHINA MILITARY: Chinese ambassador to the European Union Song Zhe on Thursday shed light on the country's relations with the EU in many aspects including their strategic partnership, trade impact from the EU debt crisis and future cooperation during an online exchange.

The China-EU relations has been developing steadily since the two sides forged diplomatic relations more than three decades ago, which has been attributable to the general positive perspective of EU leaders and people on China's development, Song said.

Noting that Europe is an important force in today's world, Song said china and Europe share common or similar positions in many key world and regional issues.

China has always been supporting the European integration, and wishes it make constant progress in this pursuit, Song said, expressing hopes that the EU enlargement could provide more opportunity for its pragmatic cooperation with China.

Hailing the smooth development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU, Song encouraged the two sides to make more efforts to enhance mutual understanding, trust and friendship and show more respect and support for each other's developing routes.

The most effective solution to any problem or impediments in their ties is to "constantly promote people-to-people exchange, and that's why we initiated the EU-China Year of Youth and plan to launch a year of dialogue for the Chinese and European cultures the next year," he said.

"We are working actively with the EU side in discussing the establishment of a people-to-people exchange mechanism, which will become the third pillar of China-EU cooperation besides their political and economic and trade cooperation," said Song.

On the European debt crisis, Song said it hasn't constituted major impact on the trade with China.

"Statistics from the Chinese side showed that the China-EU trade rose 31.8 percent in 2010 and 23.5 percent in the first four months of 2011," said the ambassador. However, he said the crisis was yet to hit an end, and it remains hard to predict its development, and China will keep a close watch on the situation.

Nevertheless, both China and the EU chose to keep their markets open during the global financial crisis and the Europe debt crisis, and they have worked together in fending off protectionism, he added.

China and the EU should proceed from the long-term development of their links in constantly enhancing strategic mutual trust, exploring potential trade cooperation and promoting policy coordination in order to avoid policy irregularities hurting their economic and trade ties, he said.

Song said both sides should continue in efforts to combat all forms of trade protectionism and encourage enterprises to solve disputes via dialogues. "The misuse of trade remedies should be avoided" to strengthen trade cooperation between the two sides, he said.

On concerns over possible risks of buying debts of certain European countries, Song said the euro and the European financial market was a key part of the international financial system, and it has served and will continue to serve as one of the key investment tools for Chinese foreign currency reserves.

China's investment in government bonds of the euro-zone not only benefits European and global financial stability, but also ensures China a reasonable reward, Song said, adding that China has expressed hopes to the European side that efforts were made to guarantee the security of the Chinese investments.

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