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 Home > China's EU Policy Paper > China's EU Policy Paper (October 2003) -- Part Two
Part Two: China's EU Policy
2004-08-03

China attaches importance to the role and influence of the EU in regional and international affairs. History proves that the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the European Economic Community in 1975 has served the interests of both sides. Despite their twists and turns, China-EU relations as a whole have been growing stronger and more mature and are now on the track of a comprehensive and sound development. In 1998 China and the EU launched their annual summit mechanism. In 2001, the two sides established a full partnership. China and the EU have developed an ever closer consultation and fruitful cooperation in the political, economic, trade, scientific, cultural and educational fields. China-EU relations now are better than any time in history.

There is no fundamental conflict of interest between China and the EU and neither side poses a threat to the other. However, given their differences in historical background, cultural heritage, political system and economic development level, it is natural that the two sides have different views or even disagree on some issues. Nevertheless China-EU relations of mutual trust and mutual benefit cannot and will not be affected if the two sides address their disagreements in a spirit of equality and mutual respect.

The common ground between China and the EU far outweighs their disagreements. Both China and the EU stand for democracy in international relations and an enhanced role of the UN. Both are committed to combating international terrorism and promoting sustainable development through poverty elimination and environmental protection endeavours. China and the EU are highly complementary economically thanks to their respective advantages. The EU has a developed economy, advanced technologies and strong financial resources while China boasts steady economic growth, a huge market and abundant labour force. There is a broad prospect for bilateral trade and economic and technological cooperation. Both China and the EU member states have a long history and splendid culture each and stand for more cultural exchanges and mutual emulation. The political, economic and cultural common understanding and interaction between China and the EU offer a solid foundation for the continued growth of China-EU relations.

To strengthen and enhance China-EU relations is an important component of China's foreign policy. China is committed to a long-term, stable and full partnership with the EU. China's EU policy objectives are:

-- To promote a sound and steady development of China-EU political relations under the principles of mutual respect, mutual trust and seeking common ground while reserving differences, and contribute to world peace and stability;

-- To deepen China-EU economic cooperation and trade under the principles of mutual benefit, reciprocity and consultation on an equal basis, and promote common development;

-- To expand China-EU cultural and people-to-people exchanges under the principle of mutual emulation, common prosperity and complementarity, and promote cultural harmony and progress between the East and the West.


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