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Europe-China partnership should be “further fostered and expanded,” Petra Sigmund, director general for Asia and the Pacific at Germany’s Foreign Office, said Monday.

“From a European perspective, the partnership with China is indispensable in many areas, from the economy to tackling global challenges,” said Sigmund in an interview published by the German government.

Regarding economic competition between the European Union (EU) and China in recent years, Sigmund said such competition is a good thing as long as it takes place under fair rules.

The EU and China have decided to speed up negotiations on the China-EU investment agreement to achieve the goal of completing the negotiations by the end of this year.

According to Sigmund, the agreement intends to align framework conditions for investments in China with those in the EU by the end of 2020.

During its EU Council Presidency, Germany hopes for more ambitious cooperation between the EU and China on climate protection and jointly making “an important contribution” to tackling COVID-19, according to Sigmund.

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