Commentary: China, EU should deepen cooperation to address global challenges

Published July 19, 2018, 4:00 PM

by iManila Developer

By Zhang Ming
Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU

The 20th China-EU leaders’ meeting is scheduled to kick off in Beijing on Monday. Coming amid the rising tide of unilateralism, trade protectionism as well as escalated trade tensions among major economies, the meeting will tell how China and the EU add certainties to the complicated international arena by ensuring steady and sustained growth of bilateral ties.

This year also marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU leaders’ meeting mechanism.

As head of the Chinese mission to the EU, I hope the leaders of both sides could pool consensus, beef up mutual trust, deepen cooperation and send out a positive message to safeguard multilateralism, liberalize and facilitate trade and investment.

Heavy weight were given to China-EU relations by both sides from a strategic perspective. Transcending the difference in political system and development path, both sides have, over the years, devoted to the building of four partnerships of peace, growth, reform and civilization, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples and contributing to solutions of global challenges as a result.

If the two sides show their aspiration to seek win-win cooperation in the principle of mutual respect, equality and justice during the meeting, it will not only add certainties to this uncertain world, but also further underline the strategic and global significance of China-EU relationship.

China and the EU have been propelling bilateral pragmatic cooperation based on mutual benefits and win-win results.

China has pushed ahead its reform and opening up policy, widened its market access, and optimized its business environment with unswerving resolution, providing important chance for deepened China-EU economic and trade ties, a ballast stone of the overall bilateral relationship.

Both sides will further align the China-proposed “Belt and Road” initiative and development strategies of European countries, and push forward key economic agendas like negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement.

China and the EU will also sum up the fruits yielded from bilateral practical collaboration, draw a roadmap for future cooperation, and forge new highlights for bilateral cooperation.

Both China and the EU are staunch supporter of multilateralism. Bearing stable stand and sense of responsibility, they share both consensus and common interests in maintaining multilateralism.

Both of them recognize the necessity to firmly resist unilateralism and trade protectionism, guard the rule-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core, push economic globalization in the direction of becoming more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, reform multilateral trading system with the times, and perfect global economic governance system.

It is believed that this leaders’ meeting will send out good and clear-cut news in this regard.

We have to admit that China and the EU have disagreements as well, but both sides can manage such difference, enlarge consensus through frank communication.

Both sides can focus on prosperous bilateral cooperation and the shared responsibility they will shoulder, as it complies with the development direction of China-EU ties, as well as the expectations the whole world places on the two sides.

I believe that the 20th China-EU leaders’ meeting will be a complete success, and provide guidance for China and the EU to deepen their pragmatic cooperation in various areas and cope with global challenges together.

(Written by Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU)
source: People’s Daily