On May 31, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks and jointly met the press with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto in Guiyang. A reporter asked: The China-Europe relations maintained a growing momentum in the pandemic of 2020, but China and Europe recently announced sanctions against each other. However, both sides intend to expand cooperation instead of seeing the deterioration of the situation. What's China's expectations for the future of the bilateral ties?
Wang Yi said, in 2020, China and Europe overcame the impact of the COVID-19 and maintained frequent high-level exchanges. Both sides indeed achieved a lot in cooperation, and delivered fruitful outcomes. The coming into effect of the China-EU Geographical Indications agreement effectively upheld both sides' protection of intellectual property; the two sides set up new high-level dialogue mechanism in green and digital areas, and actively responded to European Green Deal and digital transformation; the two sides also, as scheduled, completed the negotiations of the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment that is an economic trade agreement with the highest level of opening up, and the lowest market access, offering important opportunities for the long-term development of Europe. These achievements are hard-won and should be cherished, and the valuable cooperation experience should be upheld.
Wang Yi expressed, this March, Europe made the wrong choice of imposing unilateral sanctions against China based on made-up stories or even false information, which challenged China's national sovereignty and dignity. China cannot accept that, and it has the right to take legitimate and necessary reactions. The current difficulties between China and Europe is something China does not wish to see, and it does not serve the fundamental and long-term interests of both sides.
Wang Yi said, China-Europe cooperation has stood the test of times over the past several decades, and it enjoys great resilience and enormous potential owing to solid social foundation, broad common interests, and similar strategic aspirations. It accords with the trend of progress and development of the times, and no one and no force can and should go against or change the trend. Meanwhile, we are hearing more and more rational voices in Europe. They hope both sides should strengthen communication and dialogues, overcome obstacles, and deepen cooperation. Many friends from Europe, including Hungary, unequivocally call on China and Europe to strengthen solidarity, and maintain fairness and justice, which instills us confidence in the future of China-Europe relations.
Wang Yi emphasized, the prerequisite for the sound and steady development of China-Europe relations is correct mutual understanding. As two important poles of this multipolar world, China and Europe have neither clash of fundamental interests nor geopolitical conflicts, and what we have is huge cooperation needs. We can't separate and isolate with each other. Therefore, I always believe that the only proper description for China-Europe relations is the comprehensive strategic partnership. China-Europe relations go with the trend of the times, and the only direction that lives up to people's expectations is dialogue and cooperation. The most important principle in China-Europe exchanges is mutual respect, and seeking common ground while shelving differences. The biggest responsibility for the two sides is to secure world peace and stability and achieve common development and prosperity. We should join hands to make concrete contributions to the world.