By He Yin
CHINA and the European Union (EU) are going to bring the China-EU relations up to a higher level, according to a recent virtual meeting held among leaders of China, Germany and the EU.
During the meeting held via video link on the evening of Sept. 14, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had in-depth exchange of views, charted a course for the development of China-EU relations in the next stage, and set priorities for bilateral ties between China and the EU.
They agreed to strengthen communication and cooperation to ensure the success of the upcoming series of major political agenda between China and the EU, enhance mutual trust, seek mutual benefits on a win-win basis, uphold multilateralism and jointly tackle global challenges.
The meeting showed the determination of China and the EU to firmly grasp the general trend of mutual support and united cooperation, and unswervingly promote the sound and stable development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU diplomatic ties. The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t blocked the high-level dialogues and exchanges between China and the EU.
In fact, Xi has kept in contact with leaders of EU institutions and member states via such means as phone calls and letters since the outbreak, even more frequently than before. A series of meetings, including the 10th round of the China-EU high-level strategic dialogue, the 22nd China-EU leaders’ meeting, the 8th China-EU high-level economic and trade dialogue, and the China-EU high-level dialogue in the digital area, have been held amid the pandemic, fully demonstrating the common aspiration of the two sides to push forward their comprehensive strategic partnership.
On June 22, Xi met with Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen via video link, during which Xi stressed that China and the EU should serve as two major forces to maintain global peace and stability, two huge markets that promote global development and prosperity, and two great civilizations that adhere to multilateralism and help improve global governance. At the recent China-Germany-EU leaders’ meeting, Xi further emphasized that the two sides should stick to four principles, namely peaceful coexistence, openness and cooperation, multilateralism, and dialogue and consultation.
Xi’s ideas about adhering to the four principles have pointed the way for joint efforts to push for a more stable and mature China-EU relationship in the post-pandemic era and lift their ties to a new height. The meeting has injected fresh political impetus into the bilateral ties between China and the EU, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Over the past 45 years since the establishment of their diplomatic ties, China and the EU have maintained the keynote of cooperation and constantly improved the well-being of their people. The history of the development of China-EU ties has fully demonstrated that the cooperation between China and the EU is never a choice of expediency made under certain situation, but a strategic one that both sides voluntarily stick to. It has also proven that the China-EU cooperation aims not for short-term interests and gains, but long-term mutually beneficial results.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and the EU have supported and helped each other. Meanwhile, the trade and economic exchanges between the two sides have not only withstood the impact of the pandemic, but shown great resilience and witnessed constant expansion of cooperation in many fields. In August, the number of trips made by China-Europe freight trains reached a record high of 1,247, up 62 percent year on year. These trains transported 113,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of goods, up 66 percent from the same period of the previous year.
China-Europe freight trains maintained double-digit growth in the number of trips and goods for the sixth consecutive month. All these facts have shown that cooperation between China and the EU enjoys huge potential for growth.
During the recent China-Germany-EU leaders’ meeting, China and the EU announced the official signing of the China-EU agreement on geographical indications, stated their commitment to speeding up the negotiations of the China-EU Bilateral Investment Treaty to achieve the goal of concluding the negotiations within this year, and decided to establish a China-EU High Level Environment and Climate Dialogue and a China-EU High Level Digital Cooperation Dialogue and to forge China-EU green and digital partnerships.
– The Daily Mail-People’s Daily news exchange item