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English>>Foreign Affairs

EU, China should enjoy "thriving relationship": former Swedish PM

(Xinhua)    09:32, March 22, 2015

BRUSSELS, March 21 -- A better strategic awareness of China by Europe would greatly improve economic and political cooperation between the European Union, China and the rest of Asia, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt said at an international conference here on Saturday.

Carl Bildt, who served as Swedish Prime Minister between 1991 and 1994 and Foreign minister between 2006 and 2014 told the Brussels Forum that Europe and China could enjoy a "thriving relationship" through enhanced global cooperation.

Mr. Bildt currently serves as Co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of the Global Commission on Internet Governance.

He said that until recently, "it hadn't dawned on Europe to take a more strategic approach" to China, as well as the rest of the emerging economies in Asia.

However, he said, global events since the end of the Cold War have altered this, and this should continue.

As an example, he pointed to the fact that China is Europe's second biggest trading partner, and that a new transcontinental railway system now links China to Spain.

He said that continued cooperation should be done by "key actors in Asia, as well as transatlantic partners."

Regarding security, Mr. Bildt said that Europe has in "no way" the resources to become an influence in Asia, and that the U.S. will continue to hold more influence.

Michele Flournoy, who served as U.S. Undersecretary of Defence for Policy between 2009 to 2012, said that while China has become the main trading partner with much of the rest of Asia, many countries there still see the U.S. as "the ultimate security guarantor." But, she said, the U.S. and China "can still grow together."

The Brussels Forum, an annual international event organised by the German Marshal Fund, is a high-level event bringing together business and political thinkers from Europe, Asia and the U.S. to address vital issues. It is taking place in the Belgian capital between Friday and Sunday.

At this year's forum, the discussion centred around various aspects of European, Asian and U.S. relations, including economic and security issues, as well as inter-regional competition between Asian powers.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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