Ambassador of the EU to China: China-EU relationship is 'solid'



The European Union last week requested consultations with the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Washington's move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that U.S. tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum are distorting global trade and may undermine global economic growth.

In response to the same measures, China submitted a consultation request to the United States under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism in early April, and formally initiated a dispute settlement procedure.

CGTN's The Point (@thepointwithlx), held an exclusive interview with Dr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, the ambassador of the European Union to China, on the

China-EU relationship.

His said, "I think we (EU and China) have a very strong and solid economic relationship.”

He continued, “We just saw from our side that the latest trade figures on trade and goods for last year show that we had a very healthy and robust increase in bilateral trading goods. That also shows the importance of this relationship with the European Union continuing to be the largest trading partner for China, and China the second largest for Europe.”

China and the EU are mutually important trading partners. Last year, bilateral trade volume exceeded 600 billion US dollars. However, in the context of trade protectionism, both the EU and China face enormous challenges.

“The best way to improve trust is to talk to each other as much and openly as is possible,” said Schweisgut.

The EU's high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said in an interview recently, "The EU and China share the view of a global order based on multilateralism and the UN system.

Our cooperation has never been so important, in a moment when multilateral global governance is put in question from many sides."

With years of summits, strategic dialogues, high-level economic dialogues, and 60 sectorial dialogues, Schweisgut says he is happy to say that China and EU have a strong institutional framework.

He said, "This is a solid framework where I think we also have the possibility of early warning systems. When things start to become complicated, we have the means to adjust to that.”

Schweisgut concluded, “I think it would be important that we continue to attach high importance to maintain the schedule of those high-level meetings and have a common ambition also to use them for good purpose.”