Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday noted that the only proper positioning of China-Europe ties should be the comprehensive strategic partnership amid the recent exchange of sanctions.
Wang made his remarks when speaking to the press after a meeting with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto in southwest China's Guiyang City.
Highlighting the fruitful achievements reached by China and Europe in 2020, the Chinese foreign minister called on the two sides to cherish the hard-won cooperative results.
Referring to the unilateral sanctions adopted by the European Union (EU) against China in March, Wang pointed out the European side has made the wrong choice based on untrue words and false information.
He added the EU's decision challenges China's national sovereignty and national dignity and the Chinese government has the right to make a legitimate and necessary response.
"The current difficult situation in Sino-European relations is not what China wants to see and is totally inconsistent with the fundamental and long-term interests of both sides."
However, Wang still voiced confidence in the prospects of China-Europe ties saying bilateral cooperation has been tested through decades of storms and rooted in a solid foundation of public opinion, extensive common interests and similar strategic aspirations.
He added China-Europe ties have shown strong resilience and potential and are in line with the trend of times. "No one and no force can go against or change the trend."
Wang also stressed that the prerequisite for a healthy and stable development of China-Europe relations is correct mutual perception.
As two important poles in a multipolar world, there are neither major conflicts of interest, nor geopolitical contradictions between the two sides, but only a huge demand for cooperation, Wang said.
"We cannot leave each other, and we cannot isolate each other," said Wang while calling for promoting dialogue, sticking to mutual respect and seeking common ground while reserving differences.
Continuation of dialogue needed
Wang has since Saturday hosted his counterparts from Poland, Serbia, Ireland and Hungary in Guiyang in the first face-to-face meetings between China and European foreign ministers this year.
Wrapping up these meetings, the Chinese foreign minister said it is a strategic communication between China and Europe in the face of the new situation and new challenges, adding that broad consensus was reached.
"We all believe that strengthening dialogue and cooperation in the post-epidemic era should be a common choice for China and Europe," Wang told reporters.
In terms of the current difficulties in China-EU relations, Wang said the foreign ministers agreed that China and European countries should put more emphasis on that and make calm reflections.
Wang added that the right approach should be to conduct constructive dialogue, enhance mutual understanding, eliminate doubts and misunderstandings, continuously expand consensus, focus on mutually beneficial cooperation and promote the healthy and stable development of China-Europe relations on the premise of respecting basic facts.
He also highlighted safeguarding multilateralism is always the most important consensus reached by China and Europe.
"In the face of unilateralism headwinds, it was China and Europe that stood up together and defended multilateralism with practical actions, preventing the world from moving towards confrontation and division," said Wang.
According to Wang, they also agreed that China and Europe as comprehensive strategic partners should continue to jointly uphold and practice genuine multilateralism, effectively improve global governance and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind in the face of more complex and diverse global challenges in the post-epidemic period.
China is willing to continue exchanges and dialogue with Europe, enhance understanding and trust, and jointly promote the two sides' cooperation goals to better serve the respective developments and well-being of the Chinese and European peoples, Wang added.