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Interview: Cooperation between EU, China cities developing fast, says European scholar

By Grandesso Federico (Xinhua)    10:25, July 06, 2015

BRUSSELS, July 5 -- A European scholar has said that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's presence at an urbanization partnership forum in his recent European tour has shown that the cooperation between EU and Chinese cities was now more concrete.

Gerhard Stahl, former secretary general of the Committee of the Regions and professor at College of Europe in Bruges made the remarks to Xinhua in a recent interview.

"It's interesting that Premier Li referred to the starting of this cooperation between Chinese and European cities and to his initiative three years ago when there was the first meeting," said Stahl.

"In that period I was Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions and I remember very much how interested we were, then we also had some questions concerning a quick in-put into this cooperation. Now we all see results and not only good intentions; Europe and China, through their cities, want to cooperate,"Stahl remembered.

Talking about the importance of the Investment Plan proposed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the EU-China relations, Stahl said: " It is important to put this topic high on the agenda of the EU-China summit. China has built up this ambitious initiative called 'One belt One road' that means to develop infrastructure, at the end even to connect Europe with China. On the other hand Europe wants to give a boost to its economy by building up substantial investments so I think there are a lot of opportunities for Chinese companies eager to invest in Europe like in Greece with the port of Piraeus."

"It seems logic to see Chinese investments linked to the overall idea to combine Europe with China by building up infrastructure. Then it could be interesting for Europe and Juncker Plan if the Chinese investors could cooperate with European regional authorities and cities," Stahl underlined.

Stahl saw an important role and synergies with the new AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank). He said: "It's important that European members states are part of the AIIB to make sure that the investment which is given to the Silk Road initiative is seen in line with the investment in Europe."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Ruiqi,Yao Chun)

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