China Reaffirms Support for EU Integration
In contrast to US President-elect Donald Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric, China has thrown its full support behind EU integration.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, China hopes to see a Europe that is open and prosperous, and to remain stable and united in the face of global challenges, reported the China Daily.
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Hua's comments were in response to Trump's statement wherein he hailed the decision of Britain to leave the European Union or what has been referred to as "Brexit." Since he started campaigning for the presidency, Trump has been very vocal over his support for Brexit, which is in stark contrast to China's full support for EU integration.
"Brexit is going to end up being a great thing," the business magnate turned politician told the Times in London in an interview last Monday, adding that he believes "others will leave" the EU.
Trump's comments have stirred impassioned responses from European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said that "Europeans hold our destiny in our own hands." For his part, French President Francois Hollande said the EU "does not need external advice."
According to Feng Zhongping, vice-president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Trump's comments is an indication of his lack of support for European integration, which is actually a cornerstone of European policy since the end of World War II.
Meanwhile, China has re-affirmed its support for EU integration, as the Central Government's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday expressed hopes that Britain and the European Union could reach a "win-win" agreement on Britain's looming disengagement from the economic bloc, reported Reuters.
This developed after Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain "would quit the EU single market when it left." Although May promised her country's partners that she would exert efforts to facilitate access to European markets, Britain would work towards forging free trade deals with countries beyond Europe.
As China has reiterated its support for EU integration, the Asian economic powerhouse is closely monitoring future negotiations on Britain leaving the EU.