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An article by H.E. Mr. Wu Hailong, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the EU
Strengthen Mutual Trust as the Fundamental Basis for China-EU Relations

In the course of last 38 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU, especially over the last ten years of our experience as comprehensive strategic partners, China-EU relations have been constantly evolving towards maturity, extensive reach, and intensive interdependence-a result of our relentless efforts to constantly top differences with trust. The story of China-EU relations tells the paramount significance of deep mutual trust for the stable and sustainable growth of a relationship.


Mutual trust comes from knowing and understanding the other, and develops and consolidates as we support each other over time. On the part of China, we have always supported Europe's integration and its aspiration to play a significant role for global peace, stability, and prosperity. Over the years, China has remained steadfast and true to our position of supporting Europe, in its good days and bad days regardless. Particularly since the outbreak of the debt crisis, when in recent years pessimistic voices against European integration and the Euro have permeated widely, China has held on its confidence in the EU and has provided assistance to Europe in a measure fair to its own strength. Down the road, China will continue to support European integration and the EU's efforts to address the crisis and to play a bigger role in international affairs.


Mutual trust can be found in many areas of cooperation between China and Europe at multiple levels. There is enormous diversity among EU member states. Such diversity, coupled with the different backgrounds of China and Europe, has minted our relations as diverse and multi-tiered. In my view, China-EU cooperation proceeds at various levels. Efforts at these levels complement and reinforce each other. Therefore stronger cooperation at different levels is conducive to promoting the size and quality of China-EU cooperation, realizing comprehensive and balanced growth of our relations, and helping Europe address the current difficulties.


The Chinese side views the EU institutions as a high achievement of European integration, and always approaches it as a key platform for China-EU relations. We attach great importance to the active role of the institutions in coordinating EU's China policies and in facilitating China-EU cooperation, and are making constant efforts to maintain with institutions sound communication and cooperation.


Member states are important in the delivery of the cooperation agreement reached between China and the EU. In China, we view our relations with member states as a key basis for the overall China-EU relationship. Each EU member states have unique national conditions with respect to natural resources and economic and social development. As a result, the focus and needs of each member states vary in their cooperation with China, a factor that we take into thoughtful account when conducting cooperation with member states.


With the changes taking place in the global landscape, more and more EU member states have begun to demonstrate similar needs and interest in their cooperation with China. This trend has created potential for China and Europe to carry out further new cooperation. Through our practical experience of ongoing cooperation between China and central, eastern, and southern Europe, we have learned that such kind of cooperation can meet the demand of both sides and can ensure faster implementation as it effectively mobilizes and incentivizes the public, social and private sectors to work together.


The cooperation between China and member states across Europe is transparent, open, and inclusive. Such cooperation is an integral part of the overall China-EU relations, and is, in its essence, a kind of extension and in-depth development of China-EU cooperation, serving the interest of not only member states but also the Union as a whole. We are confident that by growing cooperation at all levels, we can add more substance and avenues to China-EU cooperation and make it broader, deeper, and more solid.


Mutual trust is also encapsulated in the proper management of differences. Due to our different national condition, development level, and choice of development path, China and Europe have different perspectives on some problems. In the future, we will continue to view and handle these issues comprehensively with reason and objectivity, and continue to use dialogue and cooperation to remove misgivings and build trust.


China and Europe are now presented with wonderful new opportunities to grow our ties. The two sides are now working actively on a medium- and long-term plan of cooperation. I strongly believe that following the spirit of equality, mutual trust, cooperation, and win-win, China and Europe will produce a new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation.

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