WORLD

'China-Europe relations indispensable for world order'

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hadns with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on March 26, 2019 (AFP)

Relations between China and Europe have become "indispensable" in order to maintain the world order, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met at Elysee Palace in French capital Paris.

"Relations between China and Europe have become indispensable in order to maintain the world order and multilateralism, " Macron told a news conference following the meeting of the four.

Noting that they have agreed on many topics with China, the French president said his country and China have the same perspective on working on the climate change.

"Europe should improve its dialogue with China," Macron said, adding the Silk Road project would contribute to Europe-China relations.

Silk Road project

The Chinese president said the world is facing many problems and in an uncertainty.

"The new Silk Road project will contribute to the functioning of the world economy, multi-polarity […] We would like to see France and many other world countries in this project," Xi said.

The initiative, which brings together China, 11 EU member states and five Balkan states, has been part of Beijing's "One Belt One Road" plan, also referred to as the New Silk Road.

China has significantly increased its investments in the region, since it introduced the One Belt One Road initiative in 2013, which involves grand infrastructure projects to connect Eurasian countries with China.

Xi stressed the importance of strengthening dialogue with Europe.

Strategic position with China

Juncker, for his part, said relations between Europe and China should be maintained based on cooperation and trust instead of conflicts.

He also said an EU-China summit is going to be held on April 9 in Brussels, and European markets were open to Chinese companies.

Juncker added that reciprocal investments were important, and China's Silk Road initiative should benefit the Europeans as well.

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