Xi calls for China-EU bridges of peace, growth, reform, progress of civilization at College of Europe

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd from right) visits a plant of the automaker Volvo

in the company of Belgian King Philippe (3rd from left) in Gent, Belgium, on April 1,

2014.   Photo by Yao Dawei

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd from left) and Belgian King Philippe (3rd from right)

co-unveil the 300,000th car to be exported to China during Xi’s visit at a plant of the

automaker Volvo in Gent, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Yao Dawei

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese president visits Belgian plant of Volvo Car

 

By Meng Na and Liu Hua

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Gent on Tuesday of April 1 a local plant of the automaker Volvo in the company of Belgian King Philippe as he continues his state visit to the country.

Xi, along with his wife Peng Liyuan, toured around a car exhibition and visited the production line. They were also briefed on research and development, production, as well as sales of the automobiles manufactured in the plant.

The two heads of state also co-unveiled the 300,000th car to be exported to China.

Volvo Car Gent, the second largest Volvo assembly line except that in Sweden, was purchased by the Chinese car manufacturer Geely Holding Group in 2010.

Since then, its production has increased steadily, and has boosted the local employment.

Belgium is the last leg of Xi’s four-nation Europe trip, which has already taken him to the Netherlands, France and Germany. He also attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd from right), his wife Peng Liyuan (1st from right), Belgian King

Philippe (2nd from right) and Queen Mathilde (3rd from left) are seated before Xi’s speech

at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the College of Europe in Bruges,

Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Ma Zhancheng 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the College of Europe in Bruges,

Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei 

 

 

 

 

Xi calls for China-EU

bridges of peace, growth, reform,

progress of civilization

 

 

By Cheng Zhiliang and Qian Tong

 

 

China and Europe need to build four “bridges” of peace, growth, reform and progress of civilization to step up friendship and cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Bruges on Tuesday of April 1.

Speaking at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, Xi said the bridges will make the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership take on even greater global significance.

In terms of the bridge of peace and stability linking China and the EU, Xi said China and the EU both need peace, multilateralism and dialogue, instead of war, unilateralism and confrontation.

He called on China and Europe to enhance communication and coordination on global issues, and play a key role in safeguarding world peace and stability.

China stands ready to work with the EU to let the sunlight of peace drive away the shadow of war and the bonfire of prosperity warm up the global economy in the cold early spring, and enable the whole mankind to embark on the path of peaceful development and win-win cooperation, the Chinese leader said.

As for the bridge of growth and prosperity linking the two big markets, Xi said China and the EU, whose economies combine to account for one third of the global economy, must uphold open market, speed up negotiations on the investment agreement, actively explore the possibility of a free trade area, and strive to achieve the ambitious goal of bringing two-way trade to one trillion U.S. dollars by 2020.

Efforts are needed to study how to dovetail China-EU cooperation with the initiative of developing the Silk Road economic belt so as to integrate the markets of Asia and Europe, energize the people, businesses, capital and technologies of Asia and Europe, and make China and the EU the twin engines of global economic growth, Xi said.

Speaking of the bridge of reform and progress, the Chinese president said both China and the EU are pursuing reforms that are unprecedented in human history, and both are sailing uncharted waters.

He said China and the EU may enhance dialogue and cooperation on macro-economy, public policy, regional development, rural development, social welfare and other fields.

He called on the two sides to respect each other’s path of reform, draw upon each other’s reform experience and promote world development and progress through reform efforts.

On the bridge of common cultural prosperity linking the two major civilizations of China and Europe, Xi said China represents in an important way the Eastern civilization, while Europe is the birthplace of the Western civilization.

“The Chinese people are fond of tea and the Belgians love beer. To me, the moderate tea drinker and the passionate beer lover represent two ways of understanding life and knowing the world, and I find them equally rewarding,” Xi said.

The Chinese people value the idea of preserving “harmony without uniformity,” and in the EU people stress the need to be “united in diversity,” Xi said, calling for joint efforts for “all flowers of human civilizations to blossom together.”

In spite of changes in the international landscape, China has always supported European integration and a bigger role in international affairs by a united, stable and prosperous EU, the Chinese president said.

Xi said China will soon release its second EU policy paper to reiterate the high importance it places on the EU and on its relations with the bloc.

“Last year, China and the EU jointly formulated the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, setting out a host of ambitious goals for China-EU cooperation in nearly 100 areas,” he said.

The two sides should work in concert to turn the blueprint into reality at an early date and strive for greater progress in China-EU relations in the coming decade, Xi said.

Belgium is the last leg of Xi’s Europe tour, which also took him to the Netherlands, France and Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese president reaffirms independent foreign policy of peace

 

By Liu Hua

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday reaffirmed that China will continue following an independent foreign policy of peace.

“The Chinese people want peace; we do not want war. This is the reason why China follows an independent foreign policy of peace,” Xi said as he addressed the students of the College of Europe.

The president said China has gone through many vicissitudes. For several thousand years before the industrial revolution, China had been leading the world in economic, technological and cultural development. However, feudal rulers of the 18th and 19th centuries closed the door of China in boastful ignorance, and China was since left behind in the trend of development and subdued to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.

“As a result of incessant foreign invasions thereafter, China experienced great social turmoil and its people had to lead a life of extreme destitution,” Xi told the audience.

He said poverty prompted the call for change and people experiencing turmoil aspired for stability. “After a hundred years of persistent and unyielding struggle, the Chinese people, sacrificing the loss of tens of millions of lives, ultimately took their destiny back into their own hands,” he said.

“Nevertheless, the memory of foreign invasion and bullying has never been erased from the minds of the Chinese people, and that explains why we cherish so dear the life we lead today,” said the president.

“China is committed to non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and China will not allow others to interfere in its own affairs,” he said. “This is the position we have upheld in the past. It is what we will continue to uphold in the future.”

Belgium is the last leg of Xi’s four-nation Europe trip, which has already taken him to the Netherlands, France and Germany. He also attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Xi says China needs to follow development path that suits its own reality 

 

By Meng Na

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Bruges on Tuesday of April 1 that the uniqueness of China’s cultural tradition, history and circumstances determines that China needs to follow a development path that suits its own reality.

He made the remarks when addressing the students of the College of Europe during his state visit to Belgium.

“In fact, we have found such a path and achieved success along this path,” said the president.

In 1911, the revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the autocratic monarchy that had ruled China for several thousand years. But once the old system was gone, where China would go became the question, said Xi in his speech.

The Chinese people then started exploring long and hard for a path that would suit China’s national conditions. They experimented with constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentarism, multi-party system and presidential government, yet nothing really worked, he added.

“Finally, China took on the path of socialism. Admittedly, in the process of building socialism, we have had successful experience and also made mistakes,” he said, adding that “we have even suffered serious setbacks.”

“After the ‘reform and opening-up’ was launched under the leadership of Mr. Deng Xiaoping, we have, acting in line with China’s national conditions and the trend of the times, explored and blazed a trail of development and established socialism with Chinese characteristics,” he added.

“Our aim is to build a socialist market economy, democracy, an advanced culture, a harmonious society and a sound eco-system, uphold social equity and justice, promote all-round development of the people, pursue peaceful development, complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eventually achieve modernization and prosperity for all,” the Chinese president said.

Belgium is the last leg of Xi’s four-nation Europe trip, which has already taken him to the Netherlands, France and Germany. He also attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Xi elaborates Chinese civilization at College of Europe 

 

By Wei Jianhua

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping elaborated the Chinese civilization on Tuesday of April 1 while addressing the students and faculties at the College of Europe.

Noting that China has a time-honored civilization, Xi said that, of the world’s ancient civilizations, the Chinese civilization has spanned over 5,000 years and continued uninterrupted to this day.

“The Chinese characters, invented by our ancestors several millennia ago, are still used today,” he said.

Over 2,000 years ago, there was an era of great intellectual accomplishments in China, which is referred to as “the period of one hundred masters and schools of thought,” Xi said.

Great thinkers such as Laozi, Confucius and Mozi, to name just a few, explored a wide range of topics from the universe to the Earth, and from relations between man and nature to those amongst human beings and between individuals and society, Xi said.

“These values and teachings still carry a profound impact on Chinese people’s way of life today, underpinning the unique value system in the Chinese outlook of the world, of society, and of life itself,” he said.

The unique and time-honored intellectual legacy has instilled a strong sense of national confidence in the Chinese people and nurtured a national spirit with patriotism at the very core, Xi said.

Belgium is the last stop of Xi’s four-nation Europe tour, which also took him to the Netherlands, France and Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (center) and King Philippe (right) of Belgium attend

the sending-off ceremony in Brugge, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Ju Peng 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and King Philippe of Belgium attend the sending-off

ceremony in Brugge, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd from ledt), his wife Peng Liyuan (right), King Philippe

(2nd from right) of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium attend the sending-off

ceremony in Brugge, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Yao Dawei 

 

Center: Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd from left), his wife Peng Liyuan (1st from right), King

Philippe (2nd from right) of Belgium and Queen Mathilde (1st from left) of Belgium attend the

sending-off ceremony in Brugge, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Ma Zhancheng 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd from left), his wife Peng Liyuan (1st from right), King

Philippe (2nd from right) of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium attend the

sending-off ceremony in Brugge, Belgium, on April 1, 2014.   Photo by Pang Xinglei

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese president leaves Brussels for Beijing after Europe trip

 

By Liu Hua and Sun Wen

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday of April 1 rounded off his four-nation Europe tour and left Brussels for Beijing.

In Brussels, Xi held talks with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and met respectively with King Philippe and Andre Flahaut, president of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.

The two countries issued a joint declaration on deepening their all-round partnership of friendship and cooperation.

During his stay in Brussels, Xi also visited the headquarters of the European Union, becoming the first Chinese head of state to visit the institution since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975.

Xi held talks with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and met with European Parliament President Martin Schulz and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Belgium is the last leg of Xi’s four-nation Europe trip, which also took him to the Netherlands, France and Germany.

Xi attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague and visited the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris.
 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on April 2, 2014

 

>>  Chinese president returns from Europe visit

 

By Hou Lijun

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping returned to Beijing Wednesday morning from his four-nation Europe tour, which took him to the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium.

Xi paid state visits to the four nations from March 22 to April 1.

During the trip, the president attended the third Nuclear Security Summit(NSS) in The Hague, Netherlands.

He also visited the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris and the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels.

Xi’s entourage includes his wife Peng Liyuan; Wang Huning, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee; Li Zhanshu, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee; and State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  New China-EU partnerships focus on peace, growth, reform, civilization

 

By Bai Jie

 

China on Wednesday of April 2 issued a paper defining its policy objectives towards the EU, vowing to build partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization with the EU.

The document — China’s Policy Paper on the EU: Deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation — blueprints comprehensive bilateral cooperation in the next five to ten years.

This is the country’s second policy paper on the EU, following the first one in November 2003.

According to the paper, on the partnership for peace, China will work with the EU to bring the two major forces closer to pursue peaceful development in a multi-polar world, respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns, make the international order and international system more just and equitable, advocate democracy in international relations and create a peaceful, stable, equitable and orderly development environment for all countries.

On the partnership for growth, China is ready to work with the EU to bring the two major markets closer to build a China-EU community of interests, strengthen the bond of interests between the two sides at the global strategic, regional and bilateral levels, carry out win-win cooperation at higher levels and contribute more to the building of an open world economy, it said.

On the partnership for reform, China is willing to work with the EU to better align China’s comprehensive deepening of reform with the EU’s reform and readjustment, draw upon each other’s reform experience, share reform dividends, jointly improve the ability of reform and governance, and actively participate in the formulation and reform of the rules of global governance, said the paper.

On the partnership for civilization, China is ready to work with the EU to bring the two major civilizations in the East and West closer and set an example of different civilizations seeking harmony without uniformity, promoting diversity, learning from each other and enjoying common prosperity, it said.

The paper said given the differences in history, cultural tradition, political system and stage of economic development as well as the increasing competition between China and the EU in some sectors, the two sides have disagreements and frictions on issues of value such as human rights as well as economic and trade issues.

“China believes that these issues should be properly handled through dialogue in the spirit of equality and mutual respect and encourages the EU to move in the same direction,” said the paper.

On the cooperation in the political sector, the paper called on both sides to deepen high-level exchanges and political dialogue, and give full play to the role of the China-EU Summit in providing political guidance to the China-EU relations.

The paper called to step up counter-terrorism exchanges and cooperation based on the principle of mutual respect and equal-footed cooperation, oppose “double standards” on counter-terrorism.

It also urged the EU to lift its arms embargo on China at an early date.

Stressing that the Taiwan question concerns China’s core interests, the paper said the Chinese side hopes that the EU will oppose “Taiwan independence” in any form, support peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and China’s peaceful reunification and handle Taiwan-related questions with caution.

It further expounded that exchanges between the EU and its member states and Taiwan “should be strictly limited to nonofficial and people-to-people activities.”

China asks the EU and its member states not to support Taiwan’s accession to any international organization whose membership requires statehood; not to sell to Taiwan any weapons, or any equipment, materials or technologies that can be used for military purposes and not to carry out military exchanges or cooperation with Taiwan in any form, the paper said.

The paper also called on the EU to properly handle Tibet-related issues, not to allow leaders of the Dalai group to visit the EU or its member states under any capacity or pretext to engage in separatist activities, not to arrange any form of contact with officials of the EU or its member states, and not to provide any facilitation or support for anti-China separatist activities for “Tibet independence.”

On the human rights issues, the paper said the Chinese side is ready to continue human rights dialogue with the EU, urging the EU side to view China’s human rights situation in an objective and fair manner, stop using individual cases to interfere in China’s judicial sovereignty and internal affairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China eyes early start of joint feasibility study on China-EU FTA

 

By Sun Yi

 

China on Wednesday of April 2 expressed the will to start as soon as possible joint feasibility study on a China-EU free trade agreement (FTA).

China made the appeal in a policy paper issued Wednesday which defines its policy objectives towards the European Union and blueprints comprehensive bilateral cooperation in the next 5 to 10 years.

China will actively advance negotiations of an investment agreement between China and the EU, and strive to achieve an agreement as soon as possible to facilitate two-way investment, said the policy paper with regard to bilateral economic cooperation and trade.

“China views the EU as one of its most important trade and investment partners and hopes that both sides will contribute to the long-term, steady and in-depth development of their economic and trade relationship,” it said.

“The EU should commit to resolving economic and trade frictions with China through dialogue and consultation, act cautiously when resorting to trade remedy measures and create a good trade environment for the two sides,” said the policy paper.

China called on the two sides to continue to make use of the China-EU High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, the China-EU Economic and Trade Joint Committee and other mechanisms as a platform for policy coordination, promoting cooperation and addressing the concerns of both sides.

“China will continue to urge the EU to ease its restrictions on and facilitate high-tech product and technology export to China, so as to release the great potential of bilateral high-tech trade,” it said.

China also expressed the will to enhance cooperation in such areas as quality supervision, inspection and quarantine, and e-commerce.

Concerning fiscal and financial cooperation, China expressed welcome for financial institutions from EU member states to start business in China under relevant Chinese laws and regulations.

“China hopes EU member states will actively open their markets to the Chinese financial sector and support Chinese financial institutions in setting up branches and doing business in the EU,” the policy paper said.

China also seeks to deepen the China-EU Urbanization Partnership, saying China will intensify cooperation on strategies and policies relevant to the development of urbanization with the EU.

Entitled “China’s Policy Paper on the EU: Deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation,” the paper is the second China’s policy paper on the EU, with the first one issued by the Chinese government in November 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China, EU target annual students interflow at 300,000 by 2020

 

By Wang Huihui

 

China and the European Union (EU) will strive to expand the interflow of students between the two sides to 300,000 person times per year by 2020, a paper said on Wednesday.

China issued a policy paper on Wednesday of April 2 to define its policy objectives towards the EU and blueprint comprehensive bilateral cooperation in the next 5 to 10 years.

Entitled “China’s Policy Paper on the EU: Deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation,” the paper is the second China’s policy paper on the EU, with the first one issued by the Chinese government in November 2003.

The paper eyed expanding China-EU consular cooperation to facilitate the personnel interflow between the two sides. China hopes that the EU could take credible steps to protect the safety and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Europe, and make it easier for Chinese nationals to travel to Europe by, among other things, streamlining visa, immigration and residence procedures.H On tourism, both sides will push for the establishment of China-EU tourism cooperation mechanism, further explore each other’s tourism market, maintain exchanges of tourism policies and statistics, and work for the early signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Tourism Cooperation, the paper said.

The relevant EU member states are urged to speed up the adoption of the Chinese language as an official language of the World Tourism Organization, it said.

Social service sectors for China and the EU to work on include old-age care, services for the children and people with disabilities, as well as charity and social assistance, according to the paper.

China supports EU companies and member states to invest in old-age service industry in China, it noted.

Both sides should strengthen communication on the technologies for the prevention and control of infectious diseases, and cooperate on laboratory testing, diagnosis and treatment, as well as vaccine development, the paper said.

China and the EU seek to explore judicial cooperation in anti-corruption, combating organized transnational crimes, extradition, transfer of sentenced persons and criminal assets recovery, and promote experience sharing on legal supervision, it said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Xi’s tour lauded as significant for promoting China-Europe ties

 

By Li Bo

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s just-concluded visit to four European countries has been lauded by world media and scholars as significant in building China-Europe ties.

AFP said Xi’s visit set a “landmark” in EU-China ties.

“In the run-up to the historic visit, both sides expressed the need for deeper bonds between peoples that make up a quarter of the world’s population and represent a third of the world economy,” AFP said.

The visit “shows that China’s foreign policy remains mindful of Europe and interested in pursuing greater integration with the Europeans,” Patrick Nijs, former Belgian ambassador to China, was quoted as saying.

Augusto Soto, a professor of Spain’s ESADE Business School, said Xi broached many new proposals in speeches during his tour, including building four “bridges” of peace, growth, reform and progress of civilization to step up friendship and cooperation between China and the EU.

He said the proposal would unquestionably advance the all-round China-EU partnership of friendship and cooperation, and be conducive to establishing a multi-polarized world.

Richard Trappl, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna, said Xi’s visit to the EU headquarters, Europe’s highest institution, signaled China and European countries were nurturing favorable ties.

Europe should grasp the outstretched hand of China for common interests as well as for tackling pressing global issues. Trappl said.

Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper said Xi’s tour was his first visit to Europe as Chinese president.

He was warmly received wherever he went and, as the leader of the world’s fast-growing economy, Xi showed confidence and brought to Europe economic cooperation pacts and prospects for deepening partnership and cooperation.

The Diplomat, a Japanese foreign affairs magazine, said Xi’s visit reflected a new Chinese determination to actively cultivate ties with European countries.

The major focus was on trade and the trip fit China’s general foreign policy strategy of increasing economic integration worldwide, the Diplomat reported.

Independent online newspaper EUobserver said, if the EU wanted to take bilateral relations to the next level, a free trade agreement (FTA) would dramatically deepen ties between two of the world’s largest markets.

An extensive trade pact would certainly increase the interdependence of the two blocs and potentially reduce the risk of new trade disputes, it said.

French Senator Jean-Pierre Raffarin said President Xi’s speech last week to UNESCO was of some magnitude.

The president had developed very strong ideas in the speech: firstly it was very important to say that no civilization was superior to another. Second, the president developed in his speech the idea of associating the material and the spiritual in the civilizing ambition, he said.

Xi’s speech at the College of Europe in Bruges, the world’s oldest university of postgraduate studies on Europe, was highly remarkable, said Francesca Manenti, Asian affairs analyst with the Rome-based Center for International Studies (CeSI).

“He devoted much of his speech at the College of Europe to elaborating Chinese civilization and explain how ancient and wide Chinese history, tradition, and culture are,” Manenti said.

“I don’t think it was a random choice, because understanding the ancient Chinese civilization is a way to understand what China is today and why the country claims its rights and asks for mutual respect within the international community.” From this point of view, the analyst said, the Chinese president showed a long-term perspective of the EU-China relationship.

Xulio Rios, director of the Observatory of Chinese Politics in Spain, said Xi’s trip to Europe highlighted China’s interest in transformation, based on two main factors: one, civilization; two, profound reforms and changes.

Sico van der Meer, an expert with the Clingendael Institute of International Relations, a Dutch think-tank based in the Hague, said Xi’s appeal at the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), including improving coordination between the relevant multilateral mechanisms and initiatives and effectively eliminating risks of nuclear security and nuclear proliferation, showed a big power’s responsibility.

Former Arab League ambassador to China Abdel Wahab El-Saket said Xi’s address to the Korber Foundation in Germany showed the Chinese people loved peace and opposed war.

China played an important role in safeguarding world peace and stability, he said.

David Fouquet, researcher at the European Institute for Asian Studies, said he felt enlightened by Xi’s speech at the College of Europe.

Chinese leaders’ attention to cultural exchanges consolidated the basic foundation of EU-China ties, he said.

This would lead EU and European leaders to look at China from a cultural perspective and develop ties with China from people-to-people exchanges, Fouquet said.

During the March 22-April 1 trip, Xi attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, and paid state visits to the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium.

He also visited the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris and the EU headquarters in Brussels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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