On April 19, 2012, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy met in Brussels with visiting State Councilor Liu Yandong.
Liu conveyed President Hu Jintao's cordial greetings to Herman and spoke highly of Herman's major contributions to developing the China-Europe relations. Herman also asked Liu to convey his good wishes to the Chinese leaders.
Liu said that China-Europe relations have become one of the most important, influential and constructive partnerships in the current international relations. China and Europe, as the biggest developing country and the largest conglomerate of developed countries in the world, are increasingly interdependent and have increasing common interests. It is more than ever necessary and pressing for the two sides to deepen cooperation. As world multi-polarization and economic globalization go deeper, China and Europe should join hands to handle challenges and strive for mutual benefit and common development. China is willing to cooperate with Europe to bring the bilateral ties to higher levels.
She noted that people-to-people exchanges can shorten the distance between the Chinese and European people, enhance friendship between them, make the bilateral cooperation deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples and cultivate and expand the social foundation of bilateral relations; can increase mutual understanding, transcend the differences of history, culture, tradition, development stage and social system and eliminate misunderstanding and bias; can draw on the wisdom of the masses to create greater room for deeper development of China-Europe cooperation. China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with Europe in the spirit of respecting each other, treating each other as equals and seeking common ground while putting aside differences, explore dialogue between civilizations and push forward peace, development and cooperation in the 21st century.
Herman noted that the fate of Europe and China are closely linked and the two sides have wide areas of cooperation and handling challenges together. People-to-people exchanges are the major part of Europe-China relations. The establishment of the High-Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD) is a major political decision made by the European and Chinese leaders. The signing of the Declaration on the HPPD is an important step of implementing the decision. Europe and China are not competitors but strategic partners. Both sides should seek common ground while putting aside differences, engage in win-win cooperation and jointly build close and unique relations.
On the same day, accompanied by the governor of West Flanders and the mayor of Bruges City, Liu also attended the inauguration ceremony of Confucius Institute of the University College West Flanders.