BEIJING - Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Tuesday that China attaches great importance to its relations with Europe and wants to strengthen ties with the region.
In a written interview with France's Le Figaro newspaper and Portugal's Lusa News Agency, President Hu, due to visit the two countries on November 4-7, answered questions regarding the development of relations and other issues.
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The Chinese president said China and Europe currently enjoyed close, top-level communication and fruitful cooperation.
The European Union (EU) had been China's largest trading partner for six consecutive years, and China has become the EU's second largest export market, with bilateral trade volume in the first three quarters close to $350 billion, a year-on-year increase of 34.4 percent, he said.
China respected and supported the integration of Europe. Likewise, China hoped Europe would take a positive view of China's development, and respect and support China in taking a path of development which suited its own national conditions, the Chinese president said.
The two sides were supposed to respect and consider each other's core interests and major concerns, he said.
China-Europe ties in the 21st century should be characterized by mutual trust and respect, and equality of treatment. Moreover, they should be mutually beneficial and lead to a win-win situation and common development, promoting the establishment of a fairer world political and economic order, world harmony and the progress of human civilization.
China would like to work together with Europe to substantiate their comprehensive strategic partnership and raise their relationship to a new level, Hu said.
The Chinese president also spoke highly of the relations between China and France, saying China was ready to expand its trade with France and steadily promote bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Regarding the development of Sino-Portuguese ties, Hu said China was ready to work with Portugal to enhance political mutual trust and expand exchanges, as well as explore down-to-earth cooperation, so as to promote the development of both sides and jointly cope with global challenges.
In the interview, Hu also answered questions regarding the coming G-20 summit in Seoul.
The Chinese president said the summit in the South Korean capital should mainly discuss remaining unified to solve the basic problems that triggered the international financial crisis and consolidating the momentum of the world economic recovery.
To this end, President Hu put forward several proposals, including pushing forward the reforms of the international financial system and opposing trade protectionism.
He also said that China would continue its yuan exchange rate reform, adhering to the principles of control and graduation.
China's exchange rate policy was consistent and responsible, and China had been steadily carrying forward the yuan exchange rate formation mechanism reform, the Chinese president said.
He added that China was to improve a managed floating exchange rate regime, bringing into greater play the role of market supply and demand, to gradually allow more flexibility in the yuan exchange rate while maintaining its basic stability on a reasonable and balanced level.
In the interview, Hu also reiterated China's adherence to the path of peaceful development.
He said China respected the right of the people of other countries to choose their own path of development, adding that China would never interfere in other countries' internal affairs, never impose its own will on others, and was dedicated to peaceful settlement of international conflicts.
Meanwhile, the president called for a joint effort by all nations to promote a multi-polar world and democratization of international relations.
Hu urged countries of the world to build a new type of relationship with each other: one in which they were politically respectful and trusting to each other and, economically, beneficial and reciprocal to each other.
Hu called on the international community, especially developed countries, to increase support and aid to developing countries and help them realize the UN Millennium Development Goals at an early date.
President Hu also called for more dialogue and cooperation between developing and developed countries, expanding representation of developing countries in global management mechanisms, and establishing a new type of global development partnership.