Remarks by Ambassador ZHANG Ming At the Policy Dialogue "the EU-China Strategic Partnership 15 Years on-What Direction for the Next 15 Years?"
Chief Executive Fabian Zuleeg,
Mr. Gunnar Wiegand,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank EPC for organizing this event and inviting me to speak on this important topic.
As Ambassador, I am proud to see how much has been achieved since China and the EU established the comprehensive strategic partnership 15 years ago. Figures are convincing.
--Bilateral trade was 125.2 billion US dollars 15 years ago, while just in the first eight months of this year, trade already reached 445 billion dollars. At the end of this year, we could expect an amount more than four times that of 15 years ago.
--In the past 15 years, mutual visits increased from 3 million to over 7 million. 600 flights travel between China and the EU every week.
Numbers are lifeless, but they give a lively expression to the close ties between China and the EU.
Some are asking what is the definition of a comprehensive strategic partnership. "Comprehensive" means that our cooperation is not just about trade, but about a broad range of areas, like foreign policy, security, culture, science and technology, global governance, to name just a few. We have nearly 80 dialogue mechanisms at different levels and in different fields.
"Strategic" means that we embrace a big-picture and long-term thinking for cooperation, going beyond our differences in history, cultures, development modes and political system. In a time of uncertainties, strategic partners are poised to communicate on major issues with a sense of trust, and enhance coordination to add a sense of certainty.