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Xi's Europe visit to open new chapter in China-Europe ties: FM

Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Europe later this month will open a new chapter in the history of China-Europe relations, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of China's annual parliamentary session, Wang said China and Europe will work intensively to align their respective development strategies during Xi's visit.

The two sides will also strengthen win-win cooperation in priority areas such as science and technology innovation, energy and environmental conservation, a new type of urbanization, connectivity, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said.

"We also hope to speed up negotiations towards a China-EU investment agreement, with a view to future free trade arrangements between China and Europe," Wang said.

He added that China will enhance strategic communications with its European counterparts in international affairs, and work together with Europe to promote democracy in international relations and a more multi-polar world.

The minister said Europe has a priority place on China's diplomatic agenda this year. Cooperation is the keyword in relations between China and Europe, which are two major powers, civilizations and markets in today's world, he said.

China-Europe collaboration should be comprehensive and strategic in nature, Wang said.

"This is especially the case when China's development model transition picks up momentum, and has embarked on comprehensive and in-depth reforms," he said, adding that there is much room and potential for cooperation between the two sides.

"Cooperation between China and Europe will make the world a safer, more balanced and better place," he said.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 08Mar14]

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