More important than ever to keep China-EU relations in good shape: Chinese envoy

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, 05 07, 2020
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BRUSSELS, May 6 (Xinhua) -- China and European Union (EU) relations have kept a sound momentum of development in the past 45 years. Under the new circumstances, the two sides are now facing shared new missions, and it is more important than ever to keep the China-EU ties in good shape, Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, has said.

Zhang made the remarks in an article published Wednesday by Brussels Times and Euroactiv on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU diplomatic ties.

He said the two sides have in the past 45 years established the comprehensive strategic partnership, and are actively promoting partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization.

"China-EU relations have been enhanced with new dynamism and dimensions over the past 45 years. Last year, our bilateral trade was worth 300 times as much as that in the early days of our diplomatic relations," he wrote, noting bilateral cooperation has expanded to many more areas such as peace and security, environment, science, technology, culture, education and health.

Forty-five years on, the two sides are now facing shared new missions under the new circumstances, said the Chinese envoy.

"The COVID-19 has posed unprecedented health, economic and social challenges to the whole international community, including China and the EU. This crisis has prompted us to carefully think about how to keep our economies and societies resilient, how to promote harmonious co-existence between man and nature, and how to steer globalization in the right direction. To find the answers, it is more important than ever to keep the China-EU relations in good shape," he noted.

According to Zhang, the Chinese economy is moving from high-speed growth to high-quality development, in which technological innovation, digital connectivity and environmental protection play a more prominent role. The EU is in a twin transition to a green and digital economy.

"We need higher-quality development. We must make economic growth less resource-intensive... It is up to us to foster new drivers of cooperation in these areas, which will help improve livelihoods and better protect the planet that we call home," he said.

Zhang also called for closer cooperation. "In face of the pandemic, China and the EU choose to work together in solidarity. This illustrates once again that we are partners that need each other."

Talking about the threat to globalization posed by the pandemic, Zhang maintained that "interdependence is not outdated, neither decoupling nor self-isolation offers a way out."

"China will not stall its efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up. We hope that the EU and other global partners will join us in safeguarding an open environment for global cooperation, upholding the multilateral trading system and keeping global supply chains stable," he said.

The Chinese ambassador said: "We look forward to concluding a high-level and balanced investment agreement between China and the EU," referring to the ongoing negotiation for the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment between the EU and China, which started in 2013 and aimed to conclude in 2020.

Zhang's view was echoed by the EU Ambassador to China Nicolas Chapuis, and the Ambassadors to China of the 27 EU member states, who also published an article both on the EU mission's website and on China Daily on Wednesday.

"Successful cooperation on the EU-China bilateral front will be even more important. We will need more trade and investment on both sides, so a swift conclusion of negotiations on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment will be crucial to this end," they said in the article. Enditem

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