It was all smiles as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao rolled in to Brussels on Thursday to meet his EU counterparts. Despite those pleasantries, finding common ground, particularly on issues concerning trade – up to now at least – has proved tricky.
But, on surely his last official visit as China’s leader to Europe, Wen tried to play down the differences between the two global partners.
“Whatever problems may come our way, as long as we stick to equal dialogue and consultations, we will be able to expand consensus, reduce differences and achieve a win-win scenario,” Chinese PM Wen Jiabao said.
On Europe’s economic woes Wen was equally confident the eurozone would overcome its debts. He also defended Beijing’s role in the crisis so far.
“Over the past few months, China has continued to invest in the bonds of the eurozone governments and those of the EFSF. China will continue to play its part in helping resolve the European debt issue through appropriate channels,” Wen said.
One long-standing area of disagreement the two appeared to have much moved closer on was the environment, with the signing of a deal to cut CO2 gases. That should see Beijing develop its own emissions trading scheme.
euronews spoke to Professor Gustaaf Geeraerts, director of the Brussels based Institute of Contemporary China Studies to find out more about where EU-China relations are heading. To see the full interview, please click on the video link above.