European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and Administrator Hong Wang of the Chinese State Oceanic Administration took part in the third EU-China High Level Dialogue on Ocean Affairs today.
They exchanged views on ocean governance, blue growth and international ocean developments.
"China and the European Union are two of the world’s major ocean actors. We have a joint interest in using the ocean's vast potential for blue economic growth, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect our oceans for future generations. International cooperation is key to making that happen, and that is why I'm delighted that we have the opportunity to discuss these important matters today," Commissioner Vella said.
On behalf of China, Administrator Wang expressed that “Oceans play an irreplaceable role in the social economic development of China and European Union. We share a common aspiration to ensure the healthy and sustainable development of our oceans. I have strong confidence in the broad prospects of China-EU maritime cooperation. I hope that we could build China-EU maritime cooperation as a new highlight and new growth point of our comprehensive China-EU strategic partnership and promote the establishment of a “China-EU Blue Partnership”.
Commissioner Vella and Administrator Wang also agreed to organise throughout 2017, as part of the EU-China Blue Year, a series of activities on ocean-related matters. The activities will aim to foster closer ties and mutual understanding by bringing together experts from both sides in different locations in China and Europe. They also agreed to explore ways to reinforce EU-China cooperation on ocean affairs in the medium to long term.