PARIS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Although China and the European Union (EU) have different social systems, they should be comprehensive strategic partners rather than institutional rivals, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday.
Both sides should strive to build a partnership in four areas at a crucial time in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and seek post-pandemic economic recovery, Wang said when delivering a speech entitled "Solidarity, Cooperation, Openness and Inclusiveness, Jointly Safeguarding the Progressive Trend of Peace and Development of Mankind" at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris.
Wang said that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU diplomatic ties. Over the past 45 years, an important message from the development of China-EU relations is that there is no conflict of fundamental interests between the two sides, cooperation is far greater than competition, and consensus is far greater than difference.
During the past 45 years, the growth of China-EU relations has shown that it is entirely possible for the two sides to enhance mutual trust through equal dialogue, to achieve win-win results through mutually beneficial cooperation, to properly handle differences through constructive communication, and to jointly meet global challenges through enhanced coordination.
Quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks that as two major forces, huge markets and great civilizations in the world, what China and the EU advocate and oppose and in what areas they cooperate has global significance, Wang said that China always attaches importance to the status and role of the EU and supports Europe in playing a bigger role in international affairs.
He noted that China and the EU should further strengthen solidarity and cooperation, press the "reset button" for dialogue and cooperation in various fields, give full play to the "twin engines," inject a strong impetus into international solidarity and cooperation, and strive to build a partnership from the following four perspectives.
First, China and the EU need to build a partnership against COVID-19 and promote cooperation in post-epidemic economic recovery. Nothing is more important right now than containing the epidemic and saving lives.
China and the EU should strengthen cooperation in the research, development and production of vaccines, drugs and testing reagents, and jointly support the active role of the World Health Organization, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and other international agencies. China speaks highly of the EU's launch of a large-scale recovery fund and stands ready to speed up the construction of a "fast track" for people-to-people exchanges and a "green track" for the exchange of goods to boost the EU's economic recovery.
Second, China and the EU should strengthen investment partnership for mutual benefit and win-win results.
China and the EU should follow the principle of flexibility and pragmatism and meet each other halfway to find an early solution to difficulties in the China-EU Investment Agreement negotiation. A comprehensive, balanced and high-level investment agreement should be reached within this year. On this basis, it is necessary for the two sides to conduct a joint feasibility study on a free trade agreement as soon as possible and launch the free trade process. The two sides should also strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and conclude the China-EU Cooperation 2025 Strategic Plan at an early date, so as to provide an institutional framework for their all-round dialogue and cooperation.
Third, China and the EU should build a green and digital partnership and expand new growth areas for bilateral cooperation. China and the EU are highly complementary in green and digital fields and enjoy broad prospects for cooperation.
Both sides should deepen cooperation in environmental technology, circular economy, clean energy, sustainable finance and other areas to build China-EU green partnership; strengthen cooperation in information and communication technology, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, big data, cloud computing and other fields; and build a digital partnership to make contributions to the global digital standards and rules.
Fourth, China and the EU should deepen multilateral cooperative partnership and strengthen bilateral cooperation in international affairs. Multilateral cooperation between the two sides in the field of climate change has become a banner and model for bilateral cooperation and a benchmark for the world's sustainable development.
China and the EU should step up dialogue and cooperation on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development and work together to overcome global challenges. The two sides should also work together to uphold the Iranian nuclear agreement, promote political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues, strengthen trilateral cooperation with Africa, and make greater contributions to building a more sustainable and safer world.