ISLAMABAD (PEN) : Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China is willing to work with the European Union (EU) to promote steady progress in China-EU relations in the new year.
Xi made the remarks when meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in Beijing on Friday.
De Croo arrived in China on Thursday and attended the inauguration of the new Belgian embassy in Beijing on the same day.
Both China and Belgium benefit from economic globalization and share a common interest in resisting protectionism and safeguarding free trade, Xi said.
He welcomed Belgian companies to invest and do business in China and said China will provide a sound business environment for them. It is hoped that Belgium will also provide a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies, Xi added.
Xi urged the two sides to further collaborate in traditional areas such as transportation logistics and biopharmaceuticals, and foster new growth drivers for green development and digital economy cooperation.
Xi called for the two sides to encourage their government departments, legislative bodies, provinces and cities to intensify exchanges and dialogues, enlarge two-way tourism and international student exchanges, organize large-scale cultural activities, and carry out research on the protection of giant pandas to continuously enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
China is also willing to strengthen communication with Belgium within the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks, and to cooperate on issues such as addressing climate change and the conservation of biological diversity, Xi added.
He told De Croo that China maintains a long-term and stable policy towards the EU.
Stressing a need for more “bridges” between China and the EU, Xi urged closer cooperation to promote a world characterized by equal, orderly multipolarity and inclusive economic globalization.
Xi also called for Belgium, which now holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, to play an active role in advancing China-EU ties.
De Croo said Belgium will continue to abide by the one-China policy and is willing to talk with China frankly to deepen understanding and promote the continuous growth of bilateral ties in fields including politics and economy.
Belgium opposes decoupling and welcomes Chinese enterprises to carry out cooperation in Belgium, he said, adding it is hoped that the two sides will strengthen cross-border travel and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Noting the world needs China and Europe to join hands as partners to strengthen cooperation in a wide range of areas, De Croo expressed the willingness of Belgium, as the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, to play an active role in enhancing EU-China relations, and hoped that his visit will help elevate Belgium-China and EU-China relations to a new height.