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Spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU Speaks on a Question Concerning the European Parliament's Adoption of a New EU-China Strategy

Q: On 15 September, the European Parliament adopted a new EU-China strategy. The report highlights that China is a cooperation and negotiating partner for the EU, but is also an economic competitor and a systemic rival in an increasing number of areas. It calls on the EU to develop a more assertive, comprehensive and consistent EU-China strategy that shapes relations with China in the interest of the EU. What's your response?

A: The new EU-China strategy report recognizes that China is a "cooperation and negotiating partner" for the EU. However, it plays up differences in ideologies and values and highlights that China and the EU are systemic rivals. This is certainly not the right way to improve and develop China-EU relations. We disagree with this view. What's more, the report makes unwarranted comments on China's political, economic, social and foreign policies, and accuses China on issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan based on prejudice and lies. This constitutes a gross interference in China's internal affairs and a violation of basic norms in international relations as well as the EU's commitment on relevant issues. China is firmly opposed to it.

The past four decades of China-EU diplomatic ties shows that common interests between the two sides far outweigh their differences. And differences in political system and development path did not and shall not hinder bilateral cooperation. To ensure a steady China-EU relationship, the key is to show mutual respect and stick to dialogue and cooperation. Given the current complex situation where global challenges are intertwined and increasing, it's especially important to ensure China-EU relations are not hijacked by ideologies and geopolitics. After all, conflict and confrontation are not in the interests of both sides and the whole world.

We notice that some MEPs pointed out that China is a strategic partner for the EU, mutual beneficial relations are of strategic importance for China and the EU and for the international stability. They called on the EU to focus on cooperation,properly handle differences and work with China to assume their roles to address global problems including the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic recovery. We hope that the EU side will pay attention to these rational voices, take a comprehensive and objective view of China's development and do more to promote the development of bilateral relations.

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