Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Spain will consolidate the foundation for friendly relations between the two countries, open a new prospect for and inject impetus into bilateral ties, and bring mutually beneficial cooperation onto a new level, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said in a recent interview with People’s Daily.

Spain and China enjoy long-standing friendly exchanges, Borrell said. As early as the end of the 16th century, Spanish missionary Juan Cobo translated Beng Sim Po Cam, an ancient Chinese book containing “a collection of aphorisms and quotations from the Chinese classics and other works” into Spanish, making the book the first Chinese classic ever translated into Spanish and Spain an important window to spread the Chinese civilization to Europe.

The centuries-long friendly exchanges are an important treasure to be cherished and commemorated by the two peoples, said the foreign minister.

China and Spain have been supporting each other on topics such as coping with global challenges since they established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2005, he said, adding that trade and investment between the two countries have enjoyed steady growth.

China has become the largest trade partner of Spain outside the EU, while Spain exports more to China than it does to Africa and Latin America combined, said the minister.

China is the main source of Asian tourists to Spain, and the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries are increasingly frequent, according to him.

President Xi’s visit to Spain will undoubtedly push this year’s celebration activities of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries to a climax, the Spanish foreign minister said, adding that Spain will welcome Xi with the warmest and highest level of reception courtesy.

Borrell believes that Xi’s visit will serve as an opportunity for China and Spain to discuss how to strengthen and expand the regular dialogue mechanism, further enhance trade and economic ties, and promote people-to-people exchanges.

“China and Spain have great cooperation potential in many fields. The two sides should work jointly to expand pragmatic cooperation, and bring more welfare to their peoples,” said Borrell.

He stressed that Spain and China are both leading players in the world in infrastructure construction, and they have great potential in cooperation in third-party markets.

Cooperation between Chinese and Spanish enterprises, which are highly synergetic and complementary to each other, will elevate the competitiveness of both, the foreign minister said, suggesting the two enterprises catch the opportunity to expand cooperation in African and Latin American markets, in order to boost the development and economic growth of these regions.

The current world is faced with growing uncertainties and complexities, Borrell pointed out. Spain and China both advocate an open and inclusive multilateral trading system, and are against unilateralism, he noted, adding that the only right choice for the two countries is to expand cooperation.

The two sides should strive to extend communication channels, expand cooperation and jointly safeguard global peace and stability, he suggested.

Leave a comment