Strong Sino-European relations benefit each other, economist says

December 5, 2023
Updated 2023/12/05 at 6:06 PM
3 Min Read

MADRID, Dec. 5- Europe and China have built strong economic and trade cooperation in recent decades, a Spanish economist told Xinhua in an interview.

“Over the past 40 years, Europe and China have forged mutually beneficial, dynamic and symbiotic economic and trade cooperation, fostering prosperity and stability for both sides that extends to almost all industrial sectors,” said Spanish economist, writer and expert in China Julio Ceballos Rodriguez.

Ceballos’ book, “Observar el arroz crecer: Cómo habitar un mundo liderado por China” (Watch the Rice Grow: How to inhabit a world led by China), was published earlier this year.

Chinese tourists pose for a photo outside the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain, July 26, 2023. As the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic eases off, Chinese tourists are flocking to Spain. (Photo by Joan Gosa/Xinhua)

China has “benefited from Europe’s advanced technologies, management experience and high-quality products,” said Ceballos, who has lived in Shanghai for about 18 years. Meanwhile, he added, the bilateral relationship has also “facilitated a more diversified and secure supply chain.”

In return, Europe has “gained access to China’s vast consumer market, contributing to increased exports of European goods and services,” while Chinese investment in Europe has helped to promote economic growth and job creation, he said.

Technological collaboration between both the regions has also been mutually beneficial, Ceballos added.

“China will continue to be a primary and priority partner for Europe,” he said, although he dismissed the fear that Europe might become over-reliant on the Chinese market.

A diversified supply chain helps “mitigate risks associated with geopolitical tensions, trade disputes or unexpected disruptions, and ensures a more resilient and stable economic foundation,” he explained.

China is “a primary and irreplaceable actor in the global economic recovery, reinforcing trade balances and strengthening supply chains,” he said.

In his view, China’s swift recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic has “fueled global trade and benefited Europe,” while promoting “global economic growth.”

Regarding environmental issues, Ceballos said that “China’s commitment to green industries aligns with global environmental goals, facilitating collaboration and technology transfer.” However, “continued dialogue, collaboration and frameworks for mutual cooperation” are needed to maintain this vital relationship.

Spain’s current Presidency of the European Council gives it the chance to “foster dialogue, address bilateral concerns and generate trust” within Sino-European relations, he said.

“Spain can advocate for joint efforts to address global challenges such as climate change and public health and emphasize shared values. By championing these initiatives, Spain can contribute significantly to fostering a constructive and cooperative relationship between China and Europe,” Ceballos underlined.

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