BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- China and the European Union (EU) here Thursday pledged to promote bilateral ties, as the two sides strive to overcome the negative impact of the international financial and European debt crises.
"China-EU relations are at a critical period of development," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said during a meeting with Catherine Ashton, EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.
Wen urged the two sides to enhance coordination to tackle the difficulties caused by the international and European debt crises.
"We should build up the confidence of China, Europe and the international community to overcome difficulties and realize common development," Wen said.
He hailed the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which allows the 27-member bloc to simplify its decision-making procedure.
He also said he is looking forward to the 13th China-EU summit.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told Ashton Thursday morning the development and changes in the international situation call for enhanced cooperation between China and the EU.
China attaches great importance to its relations with the EU and hopes to work with the EU to promote the sound, stable and long-term growth of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, Yang told Ashton, who is in China for a China-EU strategic dialogue.
Yang urged the two sides to view their relations from a strategic perspective, saying he hopes that every effort will be made to hold the 13th China-EU summit as scheduled in the second half of the year.
He also said he hopes for the drawing up of a comprehensive plan for the future growth of China-EU ties and cooperation.
China and the EU should have earnest dialogue and cooperate, Yang said, adding that the two sides should handle their differences based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.
Yang said the two sides should deepen cooperation in economics and trade, the green economy and technology.
Ashton told Wen that the EU side is exploring a more effective way to discuss and settle existing problems in EU-China relations.
The EU attaches great importance to its strategic relations with China, and hopes to further boost dialogue and exchange with China at various levels, she said during her meeting with Yang.
Th EU also hopes to strengthen mutual understanding and trust and enhance pragmatic cooperation with China to raise the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level, she added.
Ashton and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo co-chaired the fifth China-EU strategic dialogue Wednesday in Guiyang, capital city of southwest China's Guizhou Province.
The two sides discussed China-EU relations, major international and regional issues, and the EU's perspective on China's development.