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President of the Government receives Director of Central Foreign Affairs Commission of Chinese Communist Party, Yang Jiechi, at Moncloa Palace

Pedro Sánchez stresses importance of strategic relations between Spain and China

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Thursday 3 September 2020

The President of the Government underlined that relations between the two countries are going through a "very sound" period and that he wishes to extend the Integral Strategic Association within the framework of the Joint Declaration that Pedro Sánchez and the President of China, Xi Jinping, signed in 2018 during the State visit by the Chinese leader to Spain.

Pedro Sánchez expressed his gratitude for the efforts made by the Chinese Government in facilitating the shipment of health material and the donations it made when Spain was going through the worst period of the pandemic.

During the meeting, Pedro Sánchez and Yang Jiechi proposed several ways to increase trade cooperation in sectors of common interest with a potential for growth, such as the electric vehicle, the agri-food sector and tourism. The President of the Government stressed the importance of achieving a better balance in trade and investment relations based on the principles of transparency and reciprocity to their mutual benefit.

Although affected at the present by restrictions on mobility, Chinese tourism to Spain has not stopped growing. In 2018 alone, 650,000 Chinese tourists visited Spain. The President of the Government committed to backing Chinese tourism, and to encouraging the opening up of new direct routes between the main Spanish and Chinese cities. This growing interest from the Chinese in Spain can also be seen in the fact that Spanish is one of the six foreign languages on the curriculum of secondary school teaching in the country.

As regards the rollout of 5G networks, Spain feels that it is essential to guarantee that this rollout is carried out under the maximum conditions of technological security, access to data, autonomy and privacy.

The President of the Government and Yang Jiechi - one of the most influential voices in China in the design of the country's foreign policy - spoke about the interest of the two governments in Pedro Sánchez making an official trip to Beijing when the circumstances so permit.

Non official translation