Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivers a speech at an event hosted by the European Policy Center, a think tank, in Brussels, Belgium, on Dec 16, 2019. (ZHENG HUANSONG / XINHUA)
BRUSSELS - Climate change, one of the foremost global challenges of our times, has been a major highlight of China-European Union (EU) cooperation, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Monday.
The new EU leadership has identified climate change as a top priority, which can be seen in the adoption by the European Commission last week of an ambitious plan to achieve climate neutrality, Wang said at an event hosted by the European Policy Center, a think tank.
China will host the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity next year.
Let us work together to realize low-carbon and sustainable development and leave a world of clear rivers, green mountains and blue skies to our future generations.
Wang Yi, Chinese state councilor and foreign minister
"We will take this opportunity to advance global ecological progress and build a shared future for all life on earth with all parties," Wang said.
He said that China and the EU need to step up coordination and cooperation in this area to enhance mutual understanding and promote the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
"Let us work together to realize low-carbon and sustainable development and leave a world of clear rivers, green mountains and blue skies to our future generations," Wang added.
During his speech, Wang also said that the two sides should enhance synergy of their respective strengths and spare no efforts to advance cooperation.
He said differences should not become obstacles in exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. Moreover, both sides should not treat each other as a threat or even try to interfere with or change the other, Wang said.
China is building an open economy, and welcomes European countries "to seize the opportunities to scale up investment in China and explore this huge market of 1.4 billion people," Wang said.
"We also hope that the EU will stick to the principles of market economy and create a level playing field for Chinese enterprises, not least by upholding fairness and justice and making a well-informed and independent judgment on 5G issues," Wang said.
The dovetailing of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the EU's strategy to connect Europe and Asia will break new ground and unlock new potential for cooperation, the Chinese diplomat said.
China and the EU should be green partners, as the European Commission has launched its "European Green Deal", and China is gearing up to advance its ecosystem conservation, Wang said.
Green growth, circular economy and renewable energy can well be new growth areas of China-Europe cooperation, he said.
China and the EU should be partners for digital development, Wang said. "We have respective strengths in high technology, digital economy and the new generation of information technology. Much can be done if we combine our strengths and work together on smart cities, AI, data security and technological rules and standards."
China and the EU also should be partners for free trade, Wang said. "Apart from a high-quality investment agreement, we should work for an early start of negotiations on a free trade agreement, or at least the launch of feasibility studies on that front," he added.
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