Diagrammatic drawing of the China-EU agreement on geographical indications. (Picture from the official Sina Weibo account of the EU Delegation to China)
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.
These important cooperation achievements and consensuses reached between China and the EU have further expanded and deepened their bilateral cooperation, and enriched their relations.
As two major forces, huge markets and great civilizations in the world, what China and the EU advocate and oppose and in what areas they cooperate will have global significance.
The world is going through profound changes unseen in a century, and the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating such changes. Economic globalization has run up against headwinds; protectionism and unilateralism are on the rise; the world economy is in the doldrums; and international trade and investment have slumped. Such are the unprecedented challenges and tests in the work and life of mankind.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China and the EU have maintained close contacts in anti-pandemic and global health cooperation, demonstrating the significance and global impact of China-EU relations.
The two sides aim to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and cooperation, and maintain the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain, jointly helping promote the recovery of the world economy.
During the recent meeting, China and the EU both showed willingness to strengthen cooperation, jointly safeguard multilateralism, resist unilateralism and protectionism, and respond more effectively to various global challenges, which has demonstrated both sides’ sense of responsibility for safeguarding the common interests of both Europe and China and the international community.
The more firm the strength underpinning China-EU peaceful coexistence, the more guaranteed the world peace and prosperity, Xi pointed out.
It’s certain that by remaining committed to promoting the sound and steady growth of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, China and the EU can inject more positive energy into COVID-19 response efforts, economic recovery and championing justice.
The year of 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. In such a special occasion, the efforts of China and the EU to strengthen political mutual trust, boost pragmatic cooperation, and forge a more influential comprehensive strategic partnership have infused valuable stability to the world full of uncertainties and are helpful for enhancing global governance and advancing the building of a community with shared future for mankind.
Photo taken on Sept. 8 shows a China-Europe freight train loaded with daily necessities departs from a station in the Urumqi International Land Port Area, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. (Photo by Cai Zengle/People’s Daily Online)
Photo taken on August 25 shows a technician adjusts and installs devices on the carbon fiber thermoset prepreg production line and cutting production line, which are going to be exported to Europe for the first time, in a company in Changzhou, east China’s Jiangsu province. (Photo by Xia Chenxi/People’s Daily Online)
Visitors buy European products at China Yiwu Imported Commodities Autumn Fair in Yiwu, east China’s Zhejiang province, Nov. 13. (Photo by Gong Xianming/People’s Daily Online)