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Officials with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Briefs on the Background of the Visit by Foreign Ministers of EU Troika
2005-05-10 00:00

On the afternoon May 10, 2005, Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited Deputy Director-General Ma Keqing of the Department of European Affairs to provide background briefings on the visit by EU Troika foreign ministers. Liu Jianchao, Deputy Director-General of the Information Department hosted the background briefing.

Ma Keqing said that at the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, EU Troika foreign ministers, Foreign Minister Asselborn of Luxemburg - the rotating presidency of the EU, Waldner EU Commissioner for External Relations and representative of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of UK-next presidency of the EU will start their official visit to China on 11 and 12, May. This is the first official visit to China by EU Troika foreign ministers. This visit is an important part of movements for celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. It is of special important significance in promoting the development of China-EU relations.

Ma Keqing expressed that in recent years, with joint efforts by both sides, China-EU relationship has developed rapidly. Both sides have maintained the frequent high-level mutual visits. The political mutual trust has strengthened. The dialogue and consultation at all levels are fruitful. Both sides increase the common consensuses on important international and regional affairs. China and the EU do not have fundamental interest of conflicts. They all claim to maintain the world peace and stability and have common objective in advocating multilateralism, resolving the international conflicts through diplomacy and political means and strengthening the role of UN. Both sides have maintained close consultation and cooperation in international organizations, anti-terrorism, nonproliferation, striking transnational organized crimes, poverty elimination, environmental protection, realizing the sustainable development. Both economic and trade cooperation has developed rapidly. In 2004, the trade volume between China and the EU reached US$ 177.28 billion which goes up by 74 times over the year of establishment of diplomatic ties. The cooperative fields of both sides have extended to more than 40. The EU has become the largest trade partner of China and China is also the second one of the EU. Both sides have incessantly expanded and deepened the cooperation in science, technology, education, tourism, environment and energy resources. China-EU relations have entered a new phase of mature, stable and full development.

Ma Keqing said that China attaches importance to developing the relationship with the EU. It not only complies with interests of both sides but also is conducive to world peace, stability and development to incessantly enrich and develop China-EU comprehensively strategic partnership. Due to the difference in such fields as history, culture, tradition and social development level, China and the EU hold different opinions on some issues. China and the EU have committed themselves to resolving the differences between both sides through equality, mutual respect and dialogue and strived for avoiding these differences becoming barrier of bilateral relations. As long as both sides can properly handle the differences through dialogue and consultation, it is believed that China-EU relations will be pushed forward in the maturer direction.

Ma Keqing expressed that both China and EU attaches great importance to this visit and have made sound preparations. During this visit, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will hold talks with EU Troika foreign ministers, exchanging views deeply on the bilateral relations and important international and regional issues of common concern and meeting with journalists together. Premier Wen Jiabao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will separately meet with them. In addition, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and the EU Troika foreign ministers will attend the 30th anniversary reception of celebrating the establishment of diplomatic ties held by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. EU Troika foreign ministers' visit to China in the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties indicates that both sides pay high attention to developing China-EU relations that will play an active role in incessantly enriching and developing China-EU comprehensively strategic partnership.

Then Ma Keqing answered the questions of journalists.

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