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FM highlights positive signs in EU relations

By ZHANG YUNBI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-22 23:19

Foreign Minister Wang Yi gives the keynote speech on Saturday during the "China in the World" session at the Munich Security Conference in Germany. [Photo by REN PENGFEI/XINHUA]

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who recently concluded his six-day tour of Europe, drew the attention of observers and leading media outlets as he highlighted the positive signs in China-European Union relations and the coordinated efforts needed to resolve the crises in Ukraine and Gaza.

The senior Chinese diplomat traveled to Germany last week to attend the 60th Munich Security Conference, and then made visits to Spain and France.

Revitalizing collaboration between Beijing and Brussels and eliminating noises and disturbances in this regard were high on the agenda when the minister met one-on-one with dozens of foreign officials during his trip, experts said.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after wrapping up his Europe tour, Wang said that "there is increasing rational perception of China in Europe", and Europeans believe that China's development is in line with the logic of history, which Europe should not fear or reject.

"The EU side has a positive attitude toward strengthening China-EU interactions at various levels, and is keen on deepening pragmatic cooperation," he said.

Analysts noted that in recent years, some politicians and media outlets in the United States and Europe have been hyping bloc-based confrontation and Europe's "de-risking" of China.

In contrast, Wang defined Europe as "an important partner in the Chinese path to modernization".

Wang Huiyao, president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization, pointed to recent positive signs in China-EU ties such as the major celebrations hosted by Beijing and Paris to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between China and France, as well as China's visa-free policy introduced recently for some EU countries.

China and the EU have great collaboration potential in areas such as climate change, energy projects, conflicts resolution and economic development, he said.

Cui Hongjian, a professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University's Academy of Regional and Global Governance, said that despite their differences, "China and Europe can be a constructive force for stabilizing the world".

According to Cui, China and Europe share similar positions on many aspects of global governance. "There is no reason for China and Europe to give up their established fruitful cooperation and shift to the path of competition and confrontation," he said.

Speaking on the Ukraine crisis and the conflict in Gaza, Wang Yi said that although the situation is still unclear and the contradictions among parties are still prominent, "the consensus among various parties is increasing, and the willingness to work together is on the rise".

He warned that "a protracted, complex and expanding Ukraine crisis is not in the common interest of the international community". Citing history, he said that "the end point of any conflict is returning to the negotiating table".

"China will continue to play a constructive role for peace and reconstruction, and support the building of a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture," he said.

During his talks with Foreign Minister Wang on Saturday in Munich, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine is willing to maintain friendly contacts with China, and hopes that China will continue to play a unique and constructive role in promoting peace.

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