President urges more consensus with EU
Mutual respect emphasized at leaders' summit
President Xi Jinping has called on China and the European Union to expand consensus and cooperation and rationally deal with their disputes in a world that more than ever needs cooperation instead of a zero-sum game mentality.
He made the remark in Beijing on Monday while participating in a video summit with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It followed a similar summit with the leaders in April.
Guided by the principles of mutual respect and seeking common ground while shelving differences, China and the EU have expanded the convergence of interests through their strategic partnership, Xi said, calling on the two sides to maintain a steady course on bilateral relations.
He said that China is willing to facilitate the flow of people with France, Germany and other European countries while ensuring control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Xi said that China stands ready to work with the EU to hold the 23rd China-EU leaders' meeting at an early date, start preparations for high-level dialogues in a number of areas, and promote the mutual recognition and protection of trusted products, which will bring more benefits to the daily lives of people on both sides.
Since the bilateral agreement between China and the European Union on geographical indications took effect in March, a total of 134 EU products are protected in China and 110 Chinese products are protected in the EU, he noted.
As China keeps on opening up, Xi said, it hopes that the EU will provide a fair, transparent and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies in accordance with market principles.
The president underlined the importance of upholding true multilateralism, saying that international affairs should be calmly addressed by all parties through negotiations.
What China wants most is its own development instead of replacing others, Xi said, noting that the Belt and Road Initiative was aimed at creating more opportunities for shared development.
China hopes that the EU will play a more positive role in international affairs, demonstrate its strategic autonomy and jointly safeguard world peace, stability and development, he said.
During the meeting, Xi also said China actively supported Africa to improve its capacity to manufacture vaccines.
According to Xi, China has signed debt suspension agreements, or reached similar understandings, with 19 African countries.
He also called on the EU to provide more vaccines for African countries in urgent need, and assist Africa in dealing with its debt pressure to help the continent realize economic recovery and low-carbon development at an early date.
Macron said France is committed to pushing ahead cooperation with China with a pragmatic attitude. France also supports the signing of the EU-China investment deal and welcomes more Chinese companies to invest in the country, he said.
The French side stands ready to communicate with China on issues including the reform of the World Trade Organization and dealing with climate change, he added.
Macron said his country praised China's important role in providing equitable access for developing countries to vaccines.
Merkel congratulated China on overcoming the impact of the pandemic and resuming its economic development.
Noting that the EU-China relationship is of crucial importance, she said that the two sides have reached consensus in many areas. Both sides should respect each other and narrow their divisions by strengthening dialogue, she added.