BEIJING, Sept 18 (Reuters) – China and the European Union (EU) should continue to maintain an “open attitude” and “reject protectionism”, Chinese state media said on Monday, citing Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
State-backed Xinhua quoted Wang as saying that China consistently supports the EU’s strategic independence and European integration, and that the two sides should maintain an “open attitude, resolutely promote free trade, reject protectionism, and achieve positive effects of China-EU cooperation.” .
“The cooperation between China and the EU outweighs the differences, and the two sides are partners, not rivals,” Wang said.
Wang’s remarks come just days after the European Commission last week launched an investigation into whether to impose punitive tariffs to protect EU carmakers from imports of Chinese electric vehicles it says benefit from excessive state subsidies.
The remarks came during Wang’s meeting with his Maltese counterpart Ian Borg on Saturday, in which China and Malta agreed to work together to promote cooperation between China and the European Union, Xinhua reported.
China hopes that Malta will continue to play a positive role in the development of China-EU relations, Wang said.
Reporting by Liz Lee and Shanghai editors; Editing by Jamie Freed and Michael Perry
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