In dialogue, EU reps shown different side of China

13:52, September 09, 2010      

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Shanping Village of Gaopo County in Huaxi District, Guiyang, received a group of European guests at the end of August.

The European guests came from Shanghai's city center to visit and explore another side of China. They watched as old men carrying feed for their pigs walked the muddy and potholed path beside rough wooden houses. Chinese representatives explained that there are still 5.5 million people living under the poverty line in Guizhou Province and that many people still live in thickly-forested mountain areas.

However, they also see hope. Currently, peasant women are using mobile phones, the Internet is available in small mountain villages, and primary schools possess the best architecture in the villages.

The European guests came to participate in the first round of a high-level strategic dialogue between China and the European Union. In order to give the European guests a more in-depth understanding of China and the diversity of China's development, Guizhou Province, located in western China, was selected to host the dialogue.

Because certain foreign media groups have lavishly praised China recently, it gives the impression that China is no longer a developing country. Therefore, one of the important tasks of China's diplomacy is to encourage the international community to correctly and comprehensively treat the country's development as well as to understand its direction.

During this strategic dialogue, China stressed that its main focus has and always will be national construction. China always promotes harmony and seeks development within itself. It also seeks peace and promotes cooperation in the world. China will never seek hegemony in the world, and China's development is a good thing for the European Union and the world.

Catherine Ashton, the head of the European delegation, the representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the vice chairwoman of the E.U. Commission, said that she saw a different China during the visit and dialogue.

She said she realized the fact that China is a developing country, learned about the challenges that China is facing to realize its integrated development, and that the European Union is willing to offer genuine assistance for China’s development.

Facing a complex and volatile international situation, China and Europe, as two important forces on the international stage, play very important roles in accelerating the world's multi-polarization, maintaining world peace and stability and promoting the common development of the world. Sino-European relations are faced with new opportunities.

First, the economic and trade ties between the two parties have overcome the challenges brought by the global financial crisis and are developing well and steadily. The European Union has been the largest trade partner of China for many years and the dialogue and cooperation between the two parties is expanding and deepening gradually. China and the European Union especially have a great cooperation future in the high-tech, environmental protection and new energy sectors.

In addition, there are also problems that need to be solved between both sides such as economic and trade frictions, lifting the military sales embargo against China and giving China a full market economy status. In this new situation, it is the common aspiration of the two parties to strengthen political ties, promote the cooperation in all the sectors, deal with the disagreements properly and abolish any obstacles that block the development of Sino-European relations.

The China-E.U. strategic dialogue has obviously increased the European Union's understanding of China and further laid a good foundation for mutual trust and cooperation between both sides. The successful dialogue will further promote the two parties' coordination and cooperation in international affairs and create good conditions for expanding both sides' comprehensive strategic partnership under the new situation.

Just as the two sides had stressed that this strategic dialogue is a good start, both sides will continue to maintain an in-depth and sustained dialogue and communication on major international issues and Sino-European relations.

It is impressive that the representatives of China and the European Union both repeatedly referred to the primary school children in Shanping Village during the strategic dialogue.

"Children are our future, and we hope to maintain Sino-European relations, and for these children, we should spare no effort to promote friendly Sino-European cooperation from generation to generation," they said. This is the expectation of both sides, but also the motive for the in-depth and sustained development of Sino-European relations.

By Zhang Qian, People's Daily Online


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