Chinese, Spanish FMs reach broad consensus

(Xinhua) 08:25, February 20, 2024

CORDOBA, Spain, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to work with Spain to build a bilateral relationship with strategic determination, providing new impetus for the rejuvenation and development of both countries and injecting new vitality into China-Europe ties, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares.

China regards Spain as a trustworthy and good partner in the European Union (EU), Wang added.

Expounding on the broad consensus, Wang said both sides agreed that the strategic mutual trust is the solid cornerstone for the development of China-Spain relations.

Last year, the two countries celebrated their 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The two heads of state drew a strategic blueprint for the development of bilateral ties, and pragmatic cooperation has shown vigorous vitality, Wang said.

The two sides will continue the momentum of high-level exchanges, create a favorable political atmosphere, reaffirm their mutual respect for each other's core interests and major concerns, and understand and support each other in their efforts to safeguard national unification and ethnic unity, Wang noted.

He said China appreciates Spain's adherence to the one-China principle.

"We both agree that opening-up and cooperation are the inherent driving force for the development of China-Spain relations," Wang said.

The two sides are willing to expand cooperation in new areas such as electric vehicles, green energy and digital economy, provide a fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment to each other's enterprises, continuously improve the quality and resilience of two-way investment, and help each other in their economic transformation and upgrading, Wang said.

China has announced the lifting of restrictions on imports of Spanish deboned beef from cattle under 30 months of age, Wang added. He welcomed Spain to make good use of such platforms as the China International Import Expo, China International Consumer Products Expo, and the China International Fair for Trade in Services to promote its exports of more quality products to China.

Wang said that the two sides agreed that people-to-people exchanges are valuable in boosting China-Spain relations. Last year, the two countries hosted "Year of Culture and Tourism" events. The "Exhibition of Civilization of Qin Dynasty and Han Dynasty" and the "Dali Art Exhibition" attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.

China has unilaterally rolled out a visa-free policy for Spanish tourists to China, and Spain is also ready to adopt more measures to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries, Wang said.

The giant panda is an ambassador of friendship between the Chinese and Spanish people, Wang said, noting that a popular children's song composed by Spanish musicians for Chulin, the first giant panda born in Madrid in 1982, is familiar to several generations of Spanish children.

China will send a pair of young pandas to Spain after the current loan agreement expires and the panda family in Madrid returns to China, in a bid to sustain the "panda bond" between the two peoples that has lasted more than four decades, Wang said.

Wang said the two sides agreed that maintaining a stable China-Europe relationship aligns with their common interests. China appreciates Spain's contributions to advancing China-Europe exchanges and cooperation when it held the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of last year, he said, adding that China anticipates and believes that Spain will continue to play an active role in the EU.

The two countries are ready to promote China-Europe joint actions to cope with global challenges such as climate change, food security and public health, shouldering due international responsibilities in a world full of uncertainties, he said.

"We deeply felt that the international community is increasingly worried about the future and destiny of humanity and has a stronger desire for peace, stability and development," Wang said, adding that both China and Spain are steady forces for maintaining the international order and promoting global development.

China is ready to join hands with Spain to demonstrate a sense of responsibility, coordinate closely, gather broader consensus and put forth more effective solutions to push for political settlement of hotspot issues and make greater contributions to building a better future for mankind, Wang said.

Noting that next year marks the 20th anniversary of China-Spain comprehensive strategic partnership, Wang said China is willing to work with Spain, by upholding the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, to push for more positive results in exchanges and cooperation in diverse sectors and bring bilateral ties to a new level.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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