BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Premier Wen Jiabao's just concluded Europe tour is a very important mission this year in improving China's relations with the countries of Europe, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Saturday.
Yang, who accompanied Wen on the tour that included stops in Iceland, Sweden, Germany and Poland, elaborated on the visit's outcome with reporters before returning to Beijing early Saturday.
The four countries the premier visited, Yang said, are all important nations that have potential in promoting cooperation with China.
During the eight-day trip, Yang said, Wen attended more than 70 activities in a bid to advance the friendly and cooperative relations with those countries and the all-round strategic partnership between China and Europe.
Wen also delivered important speeches on Beijing's reform and opening-up policy and its concept of sustainable development to show the image of China as a "peaceful, developing, cooperative and responsible country."
The world order is currently undergoing a profound and complicated adjustment, Yang said. The world economy is on a difficult road to recovery, and the euro debt crisis is stabilized and turning for the better but many uncertainties remain.
In Yang's view, both China and Europe are at a crucial moment and face daunting tasks in reform and development. Cooperation between the two sides to achieve a win-win situation has become the common wish because they are "in the same boat," Yang said.
Under the new circumstances, Yang said, safeguarding and developing Sino-European relations and upgrading bilateral pragmatic cooperation conforms with the fundamental interests of both sides. It will also help to promote the recovery of the global economy and ensure world peace and stability, he said.
During his visit to Reykjavik, Wen and Icelandic leaders reached consensus on a series of issues, including stepping up Sino-Iceland trade negotiations in order to realize free trade between the countries next year. They also agreed to enhance investments and cooperation, and improve cooperation in exploring geothermal energy and polar regions.
Media believed that Wen's visit will bring development opportunities for Iceland and hope for northern European countries to obtain investments from China, Yang said.
Wen also met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, China's major trading parter and main investor. The two leaders also jointly opened the Hanover Messe, a world's leading industrial fair, Yang said.
Wen put forward a package cooperation plan that covers the cooperation of China and Germany in infratructure projects, investment, trade and finance.
The Chinese premier also visited German auto giant Volkswagen AG's headquarters in Wolfsburg, 230 km west of the German capital of Berlin. He attended the signing ceremony for two joint declarations between Chinese carmakers and Volkswagen, Yang said.
The foreign minister said China and Germany have scored marked progress in bilateral ties since a consultation mechanism was established between the two governments last year.
The two countries markedly improved their political mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation during the course of coping with the international financial crisis, Yang said.
He added that China and Germany will prepare for new cooperation opportunities this year during the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
During Wen's stay in Stockholm, Yang said, China and Sweden signed agreements covering energy conservation, finance supervision, infrastructure and other fields. They also reached consensus on environmental protection, sustained development and innovations, he said.
As an important northern European country, Yang said, Sweden is a key trading partner for China, and vice versa. The two countries, he said, have a broad prospect in cooperation in environmental protection and sustained development.
The minister said in Poland, Wen's last leg of his tour, the premier held talks with his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk. The two leaders reached important consensus on deepening the strategic partnership between their countries.
Both leaders agreed to establish a regular meeting mechanism between the two countries' prime ministers in order to enhance political mutual trust and strategic communications, Yang said.
China and Poland will strengthen cooperation in investment, infrastructure, and high-tech fields, Yang said. He said they will also promote a balanced development of bilateral trade and aim to double their trade volume in the next five years.
Wen on Friday visited the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial in south Poland, Yang said.
"Only by always bearing history in mind can the world have a bright future," Wen said at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum built to remember those killed at the camp during World War II.
Yang said that Wen's Europe visit ushered in a phase of rapid development of ties between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
In speeches delivered at a China-CEE leaders' meeting and a trade forum, Wen elaborated on the guidelines set by China in developing ties with CEE countries and ideas for cooperation in a comprehensive way.
He also had in-depth exchanges with other participating leaders on the implementation of consensus.
The leaders agreed to view relations with one another from a strategic height and a long-term prospective. They also agreed to develop future-oriented friendly partnerships based on equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.
Wen put forward 12 measures to enhance relations with the CEE countries. He stressed that China's bid to strengthen ties with the CEE countries, an important part of boosting China-Europe relations, is in line with the interests of both sides.
Leaders attending the meeting said Wen's proposals and measures, which reflected China's high attention and pragmatic attitude toward closer cooperation with CEE countries, will be a powerful boost to cooperation between the two sides.
The meeting, which gathered 14 prime ministers and two deputy prime ministers from the CEE region, issued a communique, according to which the expansion of relations between China and the CEE countries is the aspiration of all peoples and in the interests of both sides.
The CEE leaders pledged to intensify pragmatic cooperation with China in such fields as trade, investment, and finance. They also agreed to boost cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
The success of the meeting and the forum is an indication of the rosy prospects of friendly cooperation between China and the CEE countries, Yang said. He said the success also sends a strong signal by the two sides to strengthen cooperation in an all-round way.
Wen also held bilateral talks with the CEE leaders on the sidelines of the meeting, which in effect boosted mutual trust, expanded consensus and advanced bilateral ties, Yang said.
Yang said Wen also advocated China's stance on sustainable development during the Europe tour.
Wen said on several occasions during the trip that China will stick to the reform and opening-up policy, and firmly go along the road of sustainable development.
At a Stockholm meeting commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first UN Conference on Human Environment, Wen introduced China's practices and achievements regarding sustainable development in a keynote speech.
China is a staunch supporter and practitioner of sustainable development, Wen said. He added that China has made environmental protection and preservation of resources a national policy and sustainable development a national strategy.
Wen urged the international community to note the significance of equal environment rights, the balance between growth and sustainability and global governance in this regard.
While addressing the opening ceremony of the Hanover industrial fair, Wen expounded on China's industrial achievements, especially since the introduction of reform and opening-up in the late 1970s.
The premier said China will continue its efforts to build an innovative nation and to achieve sustainable economic growth with coordinated development in all sectors.
To achieve sustainable development of global industries amid the ongoing financial crisis, Wen suggested more resources be set aside to spur the development of the real economy. He also called for more efforts to vigorously push for innovation-based growth of the global economy.
Wen asked for openness and cooperation. The premier said the world's economies should reject all forms of protectionism, move faster to improve global economic governance and make it fairer and more equitable.
Wen's remarks at the fair, widely viewed as a clear signal that China will firmly go along the road of sustainable development, showed China's determination in pursuing "green development" while preserving the balance between mankind and nature, Yang said.
The four-nation tour is a successful trip of friendly cooperation and will have significant and positive impact on the overall development of China-Europe relations.