China, EU to work together to enhance stability of China-EU ties

May 22, 2024
Updated 2024/05/22 at 3:57 PM
6 Min Read
China-EU ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visits to France, Serbia, and Hungary mark a major diplomatic move by China towards the European Union (EU).
China and the EU are two major forces advancing multipolarity, two major markets in support of globalization, and two major civilizations championing diversity. The development of China-EU relations is crucial to the direction of the world development.
China and the EU do not have clashing fundamental interests between them, or geopolitical and strategic conflicts. Their common interests far outweigh their differences. In the context of China-EU relations, the two sides should be characterized rightly as partners. Cooperation should be the defining feature of the relationship, autonomy its key value, and win-win its future.
China always regards the EU as a strategic force in the international landscape, and takes the development of China-EU relations as a priority in its diplomacy.
In the spring of 2014, Xi visited the EU Headquarters, where he proposed to jointly forge four major China-EU partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization. This vision remains unchanged and holds even greater practical significance under current circumstances.
As the world today is becoming increasingly uncertain and unstable, it is crucial for both China and the EU to maintain close communication and focus on mutually beneficial cooperation, whether in driving their respective development or addressing global challenges.
Facts have repeatedly proved that as long as China and the EU work together to set the right direction and tone for China-EU relations, they can achieve development that meets the interests of both sides and the expectations of the people.
Currently, China is one of the most important trading partners of the EU, and vice versa. Despite the adverse effects of the global trade downturn, the total trade volume between China and the EU reached a remarkable $783 billion in 2023, with bilateral investment exceeding $250 billion.
China is ready to be Europe’s key partners for business cooperation, priority partners for cooperation in science and technology, and trustworthy partners for cooperation in industrial and supply chains. The two sides have the potential to achieve mutual success and shared prosperity.
China has been continuously expanding high-level opening-up and fostering a world-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized. Multinationals in European countries such as BMW, Volkswagen, Stellantis, and BASF, and SMEs such as SEB, a producer of small domestic equipment, are strengthening cooperation with their Chinese counterparts to seize new opportunities.
Cooperation between China and the EU is steadily moving forward in emerging sectors such as digital economy, green development and environmental protection, new energy, and artificial intelligence.
According to the Business Confidence Survey 2023 released by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC), more than 90 percent of the surveyed European companies plan to make China their investment destination. The 2023 Annual Report by the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) shows that more than 80 percent of surveyed Chinese companies plan to enhance their business in Europe. Both China and the EU should do more to increase the breadth and depth of cooperation and tighten the bond of shared interests.
China’s development and progress present opportunities for the EU, and a healthy and stable China-EU relationship will help the EU address its challenges. More and more Europeans are recognizing that China is an important partner for the EU to address energy and inflation challenges and enhance competitiveness.
“Both the EU and China are firm practitioners of world multipolarity, economic globalization, and multilateral governance. Cooperation between the two sides serves their common interests and directly affects global stability and prosperity,” said Yves Leterme, former prime minister of Belgium, highlighting the global significance of EU-China cooperation.
In recent years, China and the EU have worked together to achieve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iranian nuclear issue and the Paris Agreement on climate change, playing an important role in bridging the security and governance deficits faced by the world.
China is the world’s largest developing country and Europe is home to more developed countries than any other continent. They are important to the world economy.
Both China and the EU should remain vigilant in the face of a fragmented world economy and the rising tide of protectionism, and continue to pursue openness, uphold fair competition and free trade, avoid overstretching the concept of security, and resist anti-globalization.
China welcomes the active participation of the EU and other European countries in joint pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiatives, and is ready to align with the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, so as to leverage the respective strengths to help developing countries accelerate their development.
In the face of the changing and volatile international situation, China and Europe need to build more “bridges.” Both sides should work together to practice multilateralism, advocate openness and development, and facilitate dialogue between civilizations. They should jointly build an equal and orderly multipolar world and promote a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, making greater contributions to world peace, stability, and prosperity.

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