The foreign policy chief of the European Union Federica Mogherini said China is essential to achieving better global governance.
"Beijing is a crucial interlocutor towards a more multilateral and cooperative world order," explained Mogherini during an exclusive interview with Xinhua before the 18th China-EU summit taking place in the Chinese capital from July 12 to 13.
The foreign policy chief highlighted the EU's new five-year strategy for China, saying: "Our relationship has become much stronger and much more vital. There is no doubt the EU needs to step up engagement with China—this is the core principle of our strategy."
Mogherini said Europe is China's biggest trading partner, while China is the EU's second biggest. "We both have a strong interest in reaching an ambitious comprehensive agreement on investment, which would open so many new opportunities for our firms, both in Europe and China," she said.
The European Union has become an important player for Asia's security, while China is much more engaged in the Middle East and in Africa, Mogherini added. "We need each other, we need stronger cooperation on foreign and security policy," she stated.
"About China's role at the global level, I have witnessed at first-hand the positive impact of China's responsible engagement at the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. On climate change, on sustainable development, on peacekeeping operations, on migration—on all this, Europe and China truly need to work together," Mogherini said.
On the upcoming summit, Mogherini said: "I will focus in particular on our international agenda and Afghanistan. This October, we will host an international conference in Brussels, and we hope China will play an important role at the meeting."
Apart from the focus on Iran, Syria, Libya and Myanmar, Mogherini said she would also explore new fields of cooperation such as defense and security in Africa.
"We can build on our successful cooperation against counter-piracy off the Horn of Africa, and discuss how to support peace and security onshore, for instance in Mali and Somalia," she said, adding the fight against terrorist financing and radicalization was also on the agenda.
According the EU high representative, the Paris climate agreement, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the current migration crisis will also be addressed.
On improvements in cooperation with China in foreign affairs and defense, Mogherini said that after numerous positive experiences in different areas, Beijing's nomination of a special envoy for Syria is a sign that China is willing to play a more active role in ending the conflict.
On EU-China ties, Mogherini said: "Europe's ties with China are crucial for our present and our future. Its economic development remains fundamental to our economy, and our exchanges can make both our economies stronger."
"For this to happen, we need to make sure that we all play by the same set of rules. This includes, on China's side, the need to address issues such as its industrial overcapacity. For us, this is critical not least to maintain public support for open trade," she added.
"European Union has a strong interest in building a common platform with China in areas such as growth strategies, investment in interconnected infrastructure, climate finance, and global anti-corruption standards," Mogherini said.
"We need China's cooperation and leadership on this, as much as we need China's engagement to make the current system of global governance stronger and more efficient," she added.
According to Mogherini, a more cooperative global order calls for all global players to respect international law and to manage globalization together. "It also calls for reform of current institutions and rules. Our Union is ready to step up its engagement with China on this," she said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2016)