Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe is expected to further boost the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
Wang made the remarks at a joint press conference with Federica Mogherini, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, in Brussels.
According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Xi will pay state visits to Italy, Monaco and France from tomorrow to next Tuesday.
Choosing Europe as the Chinese president’s first overseas trip this year shows that China attaches great importance to Europe, Wang said.
Italy and France are important EU members, and the upcoming visit will be a moment of highlight in the China-EU relations for the year, said Wang.
The visit sends a clear message that, regardless of changes in international circumstances, China always regards the EU as an important partner for strategic cooperation, and treats its ties with Europe as a diplomatic priority, he said.
Wang said China’s respective relationships with France, Italy and Monaco have withstood the tests of transformations of international situations, and have stood out as examples of friendly cooperation between countries of different systems.
He noted Xi’s visit coincides with the 55th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations and the 100th anniversary of the work-study program in France, adding that next year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic ties and the 15th anniversary of comprehensive strategic partnership between Beijing and Rome.
The visit to Monaco will also be the first trip by a Chinese president to the country, said Wang, adding that it demonstrates China’s long-standing view that all countries are equal regardless of their size.
The three-country European visit will be “a journey to consolidate friendship, deepen cooperation and engage in strategic communication,” added Wang.
He said the visit will promote stability and multilateralism in a fast changing world.