PP agrees cooperation deal with Chinese Communist Party

The conservatives and Beijing’s government grouping sign “memorandum for understanding and exchange”

Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP) and the Chinese Communist Party on Tuesday signed an agreement designed to facilitate cooperation between the two countries in the spheres of economy, trade, science, technology and culture.

PP number two María Dolores de Cospedal was in Suzhou, in southeastern China, to sign the “memorandum for understanding, exchange and cooperation” with Wang Jiarui, a senior politician in the Communist Party, the country’s only legal political grouping.

Cospedal defended the move despite the opposing political stances of the two parties. “It is very true that the Popular Party and the Communist Party of China inhabit different ideological spectrums, but that should never be an obstacle to reaching out a hand, to finding common ground in a world that demands politicians know how to cross to the other side,” the PP secretary general told a forum for Chinese-European political parties on Monday.

The document, Cospedal said, “should mean an important contribution to the development of relations between the societies that its parties represent.”

According to a Spanish government statement, the memorandum establishes that the two parties agree, “on the basis of the principles of independence and autonomy, complete equality, mutual respect and non-intervention in the internal affairs of the [other] country, to carry out exchanges of an active nature with a view to increasing their reciprocal knowledge, expanding common ground, strengthening mutual trust, reinforcing friendship relations, promoting cooperation and guaranteeing a stable and long-term development of Chinese-Spanish relations.”

The PP leadership has long been interested in a closer alliance with the world’s second-largest economic power. “A country so important for Spain,” as Cospedal summed it up last week, who has always defended the PP as “the party of the workers” in her criticism of labor unions.

As a result of the deal, the two parties from now on hope to maintain “regular contact and exchange points of view on matters of common interest,” as well as “regularly organizing exchanges of delegations.”

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