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Poettering extends solidarity with blizzard-hit China
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10:07, February 26, 2008

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European Parliament (EP) President Hans-Gert Poettering on Monday voiced sympathy and solidarity to China, which has been hit by heavy blizzards in the passing winter.

"I would like to express my solidarity with your country," he told Chinese Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Guan Chengyuan in the Chinese mission headquarters in Brussels.

He asked Guan to deliver a letter to his Chinese counterpart Wu Bangguo to express sympathy with the Chinese people who suffered from the catastrophe.

"When the new year arrives, we are looking to the future," he said referring to the Chinese New Year, which fell on Feb. 7.

"I wish the Chinese people and all the peoples in the world to enjoy peace, happy life, family life, communicate with each other without borders and restrictions and make a good community together," Poettering said.

He told Guan that he had strong wish to go to Beijing for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on Aug. 8.

"We are looking forward to the Olympic Games in China," he said, "I really prepare to go there," adding he hoped to receive a formal invitation from China.

He wished the people from the EU member states and other countries to participate in the Games "a great success."

The event, he said, "is a symbol of openness of China, and the world will get a lot of "information about the Olympic Games and about China by journalists who will travel to Beijing."

Speaking to Xinhua and CCTV on EU-China relations afterwards, Poettering said it was very important that the two sides develop close relationship, which should be built on partnership, democracy, free exchange of point of views.

"We have many challenges in the world," he noted, "I appreciate that the EU and China not only cooperate in the economic area, but also cooperate in climate change and do our utmost to preserve our climate."

He hoped that the EU and China would cooperate "very strongly in this matter and many, many other matters as well."

Poettering said that in the EU's main subjects the European Parliament "always makes improvements."

"We have different opinions, different behavior ... but we respect each other. And if we have problems, we should speak to each other" with peace and dialog as the basis, he said.

"I would like to see strong relationship" between the EU and China, he said, adding that the EP "will play an important part" in it.

Source: Xinhua

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