BRUSSELS, March 26 -- "President Xi's new emphasis on the 'Chinese Dream' and the revival of the Chinese nation has been followed with great attention in Europe," said Jorg Monar, rector of the College of Europe, in an exclusive interview recently with Xinhua in Bruges, a historic city located in the northwest of Belgium.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech on EU-China relations to students of the College of Europe, an independent institute of European studies in Belgium, on April 1 at the Bruges concert hall. The event is part of the visit by the Chinese president to Belgium.
"If I have the opportunity to really have a conversation with President Xi, I would first like to thank him most warmly for the extraordinary honor he rendered to the students of the College of Europe by addressing them on the future of relations between China and the European Union," said the rector.
"Our students are keen to learn more about the President's concept for improving and expanding this relationship, and the President's speech will surely much enhance their comprehension of modern China and its growing international role," he said.
"We would also hope that his speech will encourage many more Chinese students to come to Europe and to the College of Europe," Monar said.
Monar said, "I have much personal sympathy with the reconsideration and re-valuation of the longer-term historical and cultural roots of China which appears to be a core element of the Chinese dream," adding that "China's history and culture is particularly rich, so the President's Chinese Dream has here a huge potential to draw on."
He said President Xi's visit to the EU is surely a further sign of the importance which the President attaches to give a new dynamic to China's international relations.
Commenting on the China-EU relations, Monar said that China-EU relations have reached an unprecedented level of intensity, which is a reflection of the huge importance these relations have for both sides well beyond their political and economic dimensions.
"What seems important to me, however, are three considerations in the development of EU-China relations," he said.
Firstly, both sides share a strategic interest in cooperation and dialogue that should normally always prevail over existing and emerging elements of tension, such as trade disputes, he said.
Secondly, both sides should try to move towards more shared global responsibility by using multilateral mechanisms and instruments in close cooperation and developing and implementing joint initiatives, according to Monar.
Thirdly, trust and mutual understanding between the EU-China partners can be helped enormously by fostering exchanges on cultural affairs, youth exchange programs, as well as cooperation and exchange in higher education and research, added Monar.