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New era calls for stronger China-EU partnership

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang is slated to visit Spain, Germany and Britain from Jan. 4 through Jan. 12.

At a moment when the world economy gradually rides out the aftershocks of the latest international financial crisis but the recovery remains fragile, Li's three-EU-nation trip will not only deepen the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and promote their cooperation in various fields, but cast a positive influence upon global economic recovery and development.

Since China and the European Union (EU) forged diplomatic ties 35 years ago, their relations have stridden from a "constructive partnership" to a "comprehensive partnership" and to the current "comprehensive strategic partnership."

As the world heads into the second decade of the 21st century, China and the EU should carry on their cooperation, jointly overcome the fallout of the financial wipeout and help steer the world economy toward a robust, sustainable and balanced growth.

In the wake of the sweeping global financial storm and the ensuing eurozone debt crisis, China and the 27-member bloc, as two globally significant economies, should make full use of bilateral mechanisms and multilateral frameworks to better coordinate their macroeconomic policy-making, jointly confront protectionism and counter challenges and concertedly help the world economy achieve a sustainable recovery as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the two sides should further boost their cooperation. As an important ingredient of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, China-EU economic cooperation and trade have brought tangible benefits to both sides. The EU has for years been China's largest trading partner and largest destination of exports, and China the EU's second largest trading partner and largest source of imports.

In the throes of the international financial crisis, China maintained a steady and relatively rapid growth, absorbing an increasing volume of exports from the EU and extending a helping hand to pull the bruised regional bloc back on track.

Looking into the future, China and the EU see their economies strongly complementary and boast great potential for cooperation in innovative technologies, renewable resources, energy conservation and environmental protection.

Additionally, as two heavy-weight players on the world stage, China and the EU should cooperate to amend the international economic and financial systems, improve global economic governance and guarantee sustainable development and prosperity of the world economy.

The outbreak of the latest international financial crisis fully exposed the unsustainability of the current international economic and financial systems. Therefore, China and the EU, both bruised by the financial storm, should join hands to help create a more balanced, reasonable, tolerant and orderly international economic and financial order.

As German ambassador to China Michael Schaefer told Xinhua in a recent interview, Germany and China can learn from each other and pursue common development. This is also true between China and other EU countries.

With the EU being the world's largest developed economy by GDP and China the world's largest developing country, it is of great significance for them to strengthen their political mutual trust and deepen their cooperation, and they face a great prospect for such efforts.

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