EU president seeks to maintain friendly ties with Chinese leaders

14:31, November 26, 2009      

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Newly appointed European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy said Wednesday that he wants to continue maintaining friendly relations with Chinese leaders.

Van Rompuy, who was Belgian prime minister before being appointed on Nov. 19 as the EU's first ever president, made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua on his way to attend the official power changeover ceremony to new Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.

Van Rompuy said that he had made great efforts in his capacity as Belgian prime minister to deepen the existing good relations and cooperation between Belgium and China, recalling that he was happy to meet visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and to have a cordial conversation with him last month.

He also recalled that he had the honor to attend a grand concert in Brussels to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China organized by the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

In his address before the opening of the concert, Van Rompuy spoke highly of the remarkable achievements made by China since 1949 and particularly since 1978 when China pursued a reform and opening up policy.

On Wednesday morning, Belgian King Albert II accepted the resignation of Van Rompuy as prime minister and appointed current Foreign Minister Yves Leterme as new prime minister.

On Wednesday afternoon, Leterme, a former prime minister, and his cabinet members were sworn in by King Albert II.

Van Rompuy will officially take office on Jan. 1, 2010.

Local analysts said Van Rompuy was elected the EU president because of his rich experience in economic affairs and his excellent performance in handling disputes among different political parties.

Source: Xinhua
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