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Wang urges EU to uphold free trade

By XU WEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-23 15:07

Beijing's top diplomat Wang Yi urged the European Union to uphold openness, inclusiveness, market principles, support free trade, and avoid falling into the trap of protectionism during a phone conversation with French President's Diplomatic Advisor Emmanuel Bonne on Friday.

Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, told Bonne that China is committed to resolving mutual concerns through dialogue and consultation with the EU and hopes that France will play a constructive role in addressing issues related to anti-subsidy investigations.

Bonne told Wang that the European Commission's anti-subsidy investigation is not targeted at China, and the French side will uphold mutual benefit and win-win between the EU and China.

The conversation came as Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the bloc's executive branch, told EU lawmakers last week that the EU is launching an investigation into "huge subsidies" that China allegedly provides to its electric vehicle makers.

Wang noted that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and EU, saying that China is willing to work with the EU to plan the next steps in their exchanges and open up new prospects for China-EU cooperation.

As for ties between Beijing and Paris, Wang said China is willing to work together with France to plan the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the Year of Culture and Tourism between the two countries next year, injecting new momentum into bilateral relations.

Both sides should fully leverage strategic dialogues and high-level people-to-people exchange mechanisms to strengthen political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, invigorate cultural exchanges, and enhance the foundation of public support, he said.

Bonne said President Macron values the trust and friendship established with President Xi Jinping and is willing to maintain and strengthen high-level exchanges between the two sides.

The French side looks forward to a new round of strategic dialogues with China and increased bilateral communication and coordination, he said, adding that Paris opposes bloc confrontation and consistently advocates for the independence and autonomy of the EU.

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