Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides in Larnaca, Cyprus, on Jan. 4, 2021, during a stopover in Cyprus on his official trip to Africa. (Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)
LARNACA, Cyprus, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides here on Monday during a stopover in Cyprus on his official trip to Africa, with the two sides pledging to strengthen bilateral relations.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Cyprus. Wang said that the two countries have worked together to set an example of equal treatment and mutually beneficial cooperation between big and small countries.
This tradition should be inherited and carried forward, Wang said, noting that the two countries have made good cooperation within the framework of Belt and Road Initiative.
China is willing to work with Cyprus to build a green, healthy and digital silk road, he added.
The Chinese minister also said China supports Cyprus's efforts of safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and backs appropriate settlement of the Cyprus issue in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions.
"China appreciates that Cyprus upheld fairness and justice and offered valuable support on the issues regarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The mutual support and understanding between the two countries has consolidated the political basis of the bilateral relations and opened up broad prospects for bilateral cooperation," he said.
Wand said Cyprus is an important member of the European Union (EU), and China regards the EU as a major force for a multi-polar world.
"Consensuses between China and the EU outweigh differences, as the two sides are cooperative partners rather than systemic rivals. China and the EU should understand each other, respect the choice made by the people of the other side, expand common interests and enhance mutual trust," he added.
Last year, important progress has been made in China-EU relations, Wang noted. The two sides signed the agreement on geographical indications, agreed to build green and digital partnerships, and declared the completion of the investment agreement negotiations, which has injected new impetus for deepening the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and promoting world economic recovery.
He also stressed that China-EU relations should not be affected by external interference, and added that he hoped Cyprus would play an active role in pushing forward China-EU relations.
For his part, Christodoulides said the Cypriot government strongly hopes to further advance its relations with China.
The Cypriot side strictly adheres to the one-China policy, supports international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and supports the EU in advancing its relations with China, said the minister.
Cyprus and China both advocate multilateralism and oppose unilateral acts. The Cypriot side always believes China's participation and support are needed to tackle global challenges, he added.
The two ministers also mentioned mutual help in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and planned events during this year to mark 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.