BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday it is necessary for China and the European Union (EU) to strengthen strategic communication, and jointly promote the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations, which is in the interests of both sides.
He made the remarks in a phone conversation with European Council President Charles Michel.
Xi also said that China and the EU are two major independent forces, and comprehensive strategic partners.
Xi pointed out that since the start of this year, the international situation has witnessed new changes, and the China-EU relationship has also encountered new problems.
China and the EU, he stressed, should perceive each other correctly, and stay committed to dialogue and cooperation and to mutual respect and mutual benefit.
He suggested that the two sides deepen policy communication in green and digital fields, expand areas of practical cooperation, actively synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the global EU Connectivity Strategy, and strengthen communication and cooperation on issues such as climate change and biodiversity conservation.
The EU and its members are invited to actively participate in the Global Development Initiative, and work together with China and other countries to help developing countries achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at an early date, he added.
Noting that China and the EU are different in history, culture, social systems and stages of development, Xi said it is not surprising that they have some competition, disputes and differences, which should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation.
China, he added, is always sincere in developing relations with the EU, and meanwhile resolute in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests.
He expressed the hope that the EU will uphold strategic autonomy, distinguish between right and wrong, and work with China to push forward the development of China-EU cooperation.
For his part, Michel said recent developments in the international situation have made the EU and its members more aware of the importance of enhancing strategic autonomy.
Although the EU and China have different political systems and development models, they both support multilateralism, and the two sides need to cooperate in fighting the pandemic, promoting economic recovery, addressing climate change and safeguarding regional peace and stability, he added.
Noting that sustained development of the EU-China strategic partnership serves the common interests of the people on both sides, Michel said the EU is willing to work with China to increase dialogue and interaction in the spirit of mutual respect, and manage differences in an effective and proper manner.
The EU abides by the one-China policy and has never changed its policy on Taiwan-related issues, he said, adding that the EU will uphold strategic autonomy in handling international affairs.
The EU is willing to work with China to deepen practical cooperation in such fields as green and digital economy, carry out exchanges and cooperation on the Global Development Initiative, and maintain close communication and coordination on major international issues.
In addition, Michel briefed Xi about the EU's view on the situation in Afghanistan.
Xi stressed that China respects Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, respects every country's independent choice of its path and system, and advocates coexistence of and mutual learning between different civilizations.
China has always been playing a constructive role in seeking a political settlement of the Afghanistan issue, Xi said, adding that the international community should create a favorable external environment for Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction.