China urges "balanced understanding" during strategic dialogue with EU

08:17, September 02, 2010      

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by Xinhua writers Hao Yalin, Wang Li

China Wednesday called for the European Union to have a balanced, objective, comprehensive understanding of the world's largest developing country during an upgraded strategic dialogue held in the underdeveloped province of Guizhou.

State Councilor Dai Bingguo told the EU side that despite rapid economic growth, China has no possibility to be arrogant, nor is it pretending to be a richer or poorer country than it actually is, with unfathomable strategic intentions, according to Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying.

"China expects the EU to treat itself as an equal," Dai was quoted by Fu as telling EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

The meeting was the fifth strategic dialogue between the two sides and the first since it was upgraded from vice foreign-minister level to its current level.

China had made remarkable achievements since its reform and opening up to the outside, but it is still a developing country, Dai said.

China has a clear understanding of its position in the international arena and its current level of development, Dai said, adding it will focus on economic development in the long run.

China has not been, nor is, nor will be in the pursuit of hegemony, but adheres to the path of peaceful development, Dai said.

China needs a peaceful international environment for development and its development will promote global peace and development, he said.

Ashton echoed Dai, saying that the European Union should have a comprehensive understanding of China.

The EU's view of China's development was one topic of the one-day closed-door meeting.

"It is one major aim of this strategic dialogue to enhance mutual understanding between China and the European Union. Both sides have a strong will to better understand each other and promote political mutual trust, so as to promote bilateral cooperation," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying in an interview with Xinhua.

The two sides also discussed the international situation and the development of the China-EU relationship.

On the international situation, China urged all countries to join hands to cope with global challenges.

On China-EU relations, China said it supports EU integration. The two sides should strengthen political dialogue, enhance strategic mutual trust, expand cooperation, properly handle sensitive issues and have more people-to-people exchanges, so as to promote a strategic partnership of cooperation.

Ashton said the European Union will strengthen political and economic dialogue with China and seek out more areas for cooperation.

"The two sides found much in common in the talks. The two sides hope to have a better and deeper understanding of each other through more dialogue," Fu said.

On Tuesday, Ashton and her entourage paid a visit to a poor village of the Miao ethnic group in the suburbs of Guiyang, capital city of Guizhou.

In the village, they called on rural families and a primary school.

Prior to the Guizhou visit, Ashton had a two-day tour in Shanghai Municipality, one of China's most developed cities.

"We hoped such an arrangement would give her a comprehensive understanding of China and help the EU side view China and its development in a balanced and objective manner," Fu, the vice foreign minister, said.

The travel arrangements have been viewed as a response to the suggestion China is no longer a developing country and that it should take on more international responsibilities.

Qu Xing, a research fellow at the foreign ministry, said the arrangement helped China and the EU reach consensus about China's development, with which the two sides can have a more comprehensive and balanced view about the China-EU relationship.

Ashton's visit to the land-locked Chinese province of Guizhou "also sent the positive signal that the EU wants to know more about China," Qu added.

China-EU relations have endured some twists and turns in recent years. Nevertheless, facing the changing international situation and global challenges, the European Union adjusted its China policy and now seeks coordination and cooperation with China in some international affairs, Qu said.

The EU wants to have a larger voice in international affairs. China wants to keep a multilateral situation. These elements impelled the two sides to further develop their relationship. The two sides do not have fundamental conflicts in interests. This dialogue will help them deepen understanding and further promote the development of China-EU relations, Qu said.

After her stay in Guizhou, Ashton flew to Beijing Wednesday evening, where she will meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and have talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Source: Xinhua


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