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Chinese, EU leaders meet before ties anniversary

Zhang Yunbi
Updated: May 6,2015 7:39 AM     China Daily

State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) and Federica Mogherini, European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, attend a press conference after the fifth round of high-level strategic dialogue between China and the EU, in Beijing, May 5, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

State Councilor Yang Jiechi has said the expected meeting between Premier Li Keqiang and the leadership of the European Union later this year is “of high importance”.

Bilateral efforts will “inject fresh and key impetus” into the development of the relationship, Yang said at a news conference with Federica Mogherini, visiting EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission, meet with reporters after the fifth strategic dialogue between China and the European Commission in Beijing on Tuesday. The meeting covered a wide range of topics and also marked the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the European Union.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

Yang and Mogherini co-host the Fifth China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue from May 5 to 6 during the latter’s visit to China.

China and the EU have become key trade partners as they embrace the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Mogherini said that since the establishment of the China-EU strategic partnership in 2003, trade exchanges have more than quadrupled.

Last year, annual trade reached $615 billion. The EU is China’s largest trade partner, while China is the second-largest trade partner of the EU.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi (2nd R) co-chairs the fifth round of high-level strategic dialogue between China and the European Union (EU) with Federica Mogherini (2nd L), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, in Beijing, capital of China, May 5, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Yang hailed lasting efforts by China and the European Union to maintain high-level exchanges and said both sides need to make full use of dialogue at various levels and in various fields.

We need to “strengthen our economic and trade ties. We also need to step up negotiations on the bilateral investment agreement and tap into the potential of new corporation areas, such as finance, infrastructure, digital”, he said.

Mogherini’s visit to China testifies to “the great importance the EU attaches to growing the comprehensive and strategic partnership with China”, he added.

The sides were set to grab this opportunity to look back on, and ahead to, China-EU relations, and exchange views on international and regional key issues of common interest.

It is believed that this dialogue “will promote strategic mutual trust and enhance pragmatic cooperation between the two parties, and create favorable conditions for the development of the China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said last week.

Yang Yanyi, head of the Chinese mission to the EU, laid out annual priorities for developing China-European Union relations, including successfully hosting the annual meeting of the leaders.

The two sides are expected to learn from each other’s wisdom, including the capacity of governance and the transformation of industries, Yang said in an interview with China Radio International.

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