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This year marks the second 10-year comprehensive partnership for the two countries as well as the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Britain ties. Xi stressed that the good China-Britain relationship bodes well for the good China-Europe ties.

“Recognition of China as a global and regional strategic player is growing very much in Europe,” said Shada Islam, director of policy at Brussels-based think-tank Friends of Europe, in a recent interview.

Islam upheld that the China-EU ties are based on a fundamental and indispensable necessity.

China and the EU have scored fruitful progress in cooperation since the two sides forged ties 40 years ago, and their leaders have worked out a good road-map for the future, which is based on practical and pragmatic cooperation in areas that the two sides have mutual benefit, such as China’s initiative of One Belt and One Road, the EU’s Juncker investment plan, innovation, 5G telecommunication technology, education, energy links, urbanization, and smart cities, she said.

The potential for China-EU cooperation is immense, not just in business and economic cooperation, but also on global stage, Islam said.

There has been good cooperation so far over Iran, and both sides are hoping to get similar dialogue going on the Korean Peninsula and need to settle the havoc in Syria, she said.

China is not only an indispensable player economically, but also strategically and politically, Islam added.

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