China replaces the US to become the largest trade partner of the EU in the third quarter of this year, reflecting the resilience and potential of China-EU economic and trade relationship, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing on Friday.
China edged past the US in the third quarter to become the EU's largest trade partner, latest Eurostat data showed. During the first nine months, trade volume between China and the EU totaled 425.5 billion euros ($517.3 billion), whereas trade between the US and the EU stood at 412.5 billion euros, according to the statistics bureau.
"This is good news for both China and the EU - important trade partners for each other," Hua said. She said that the two economies are of strong complementarities, with wide cooperation and great potential.
With the EU being China's top trade partner for years, China becoming the largest trade partner for the EU fully reflects the resilience and potential of the China-EU economic and trade relation, Hua said, noting that fast development of bilateral trade contributes to both sides' economic and social development while improving the wellbeing of both peoples.
The official signing of the China-EU agreement on Geographical Indications will promote a more convenient entrance of good quality agricultural products into each other's markets, Hua said.
"As the two are accelerating talks on China-EU bilateral investment treaty agreement, we hope the two sides can meet each other halfway in a bid to reach an agreement by the end of 2020, and promote China-EU economic and trade cooperation to a new level," she said.
While building a new development pattern, China will remain committed to expanding its opening-up to provide every country with more opportunities, including EU members, Hua said, noting that she hopes the EU can maintain the opening-up of its trade and investment markets and work with the Chinese side to maintain economic globalization, as well as a free and open trade and investment environment.