BRUSSELS, May 27 (Xinhua) -- "China's cooperation with the European Union (EU) has made the 'cake' of common interests bigger," China's Ambassador to the European Union (EU), Yang Yanyi, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
With the expansion of their cooperation scale, the enhancement of cooperation level and improvement of cooperation quality, more job opportunities will be created for both sides and a more competitive consumer market will be cultivated, Yang said.
"It makes peoples of both sides realize that openness and cooperation is the right choice that leads to a better life through sharing the benefits of globalization," Yang added.
Yang's interview came as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is set to pay an official visit to Germany and Belgium next week, during which he will attend the 19th China-EU leaders' meeting in Brussels.
BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE BOOSTS CHINA-EU TIES
While talking about the growth of China-EU relations in recent years, Yang gave special emphasis on the positive impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on the China-EU relations.
Since China and the EU agreed to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and European Development Strategy at the 17th China-EU Summit in 2015, the initiative has grown from a concept into action, from vision into reality, which has brought tangible benefits to the peoples of China and Europe, and greatly promoted the connectivity and common development across the Eurasia continent.
China and the EU have carried out beneficial exchanges and cooperation under the Belt and Road framework, Yang said, adding that special efforts have been made by the two sides to promote connectivity of infrastructure and facilities.
The two sides have reached agreement on establishing the China-EU Join Investment Fund and the Connectivity Cooperation Platform, promoting cooperation between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Pan-European Transport Network, integrating China's cooperation with the Hungarian and Serbian railway construction into cooperation under the 16+1 mechanism as well as the overall EU-China cooperation, she noted.
China and the EU have also signed the China-EU Digital Cooperation Strategy, opened the China-EU freight line, and China has strengthened its cooperation with the EU member states in the airport, ports, aviation and other connectivity facilities, she added.
"All this has facilitated China-EU connectivity on land, sea, air and internet, playing a positive role in promoting economic integration and interconnected development and ensuring that benefits are delivered to all," Yang said.
As for China-EU trade, Yang said that China and the EU are now each other's major trading partners. In 2016, China-EU trade amounted to 547 billion U.S. dollars and the EU invested 8.8 billion dollars in China.
As of March 2017, China's cumulative direct investment in the EU amounted to 73.3 billion dollars, and the EU's cumulative investment in China reached 114.6 billion dollars.
Since the EU-China Investment Agreement negotiations began in 2014, the two sides have worked actively to reach an early agreement and to create an open environment for two-way investment.
MANAGING DIFFERENCES THROUGH DIALOGUE & CONSULTATION
Besides the China-EU common interests, Yang also shared her views about the differences between the two sides.
"The EU has expressed concern on certain economic and trade issues such as steel overcapacity and market access," Yang noted, adding that China, for its part, has expressed concern with the implementation of Article 15 of the accession protocol signed when China jointed the WTO.
The Article 15 states that the so-called "surrogate country approach" in anti-dumping rules expires 15 years after China's accession into the WTO, according to which the expiration date is Dec. 11, 2016.
The surrogate country approach allows an importing WTO member state to refer to prices or costs of the like product in a third country to calculate the value of Chinese products and determine whether it constitutes an act of dumping.
As China-EU economic and trade relations continue to grow, some existing differences between them may be eliminated, while new differences may arise, Yang said. "This is just natural. The key is to understand how to manage and handle these differences properly."
Yang stressed that the two sides should focus on common interests and pragmatic cooperation and try to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation.
"We hope that the EU will maintain market openness and use trade remedy measures cautiously so as to maintain a stable and open international trade environment and refrain from politicizing economic and trade issues. Otherwise, problems will only become more difficult to solve and obstacles to bilateral economic and trade cooperation will be created," she said.
Meanwhile, Yang said China and the EU need to view mutual competition in a right manner. "There will always be competition in the market. We should abandon the idea of a zero sum game."