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Resilient China-EU cooperation critical for an uncertain world

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2022-04-06

BERLIN -- In a virtual meeting on Friday, Chinese and European Union (EU) leaders underscored the imperative role of sound and healthy bilateral ties for a world that has arrived at a critical juncture.

China and the EU stand as two major forces, big markets and great civilizations on the world stage. It is the common aspiration of the global community for the two sides to uphold peace, promote shared development and add stabilizing factors to a turbulent world fraught with uncertainties induced by such challenges as a lingering COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

China-EU cooperation originates from their broad common interests. The two major economies, now each other's largest trading partner, boast a high degree of economic complementarity, extensive areas of cooperation, and great potential for common prosperity.

Over the past years, China-EU exchanges have yielded remarkable results through practical dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit.

Despite the pandemic-induced repercussions felt throughout the global economy, China-EU trade managed to buck the trend, hitting a new record of more than 800 billion U.S. dollars by registering a 27.5 percent year-on-year growth last year.

The China-Europe Railway Express, an important pillar for the Belt and Road Initiative, has helped stabilize global supply chains and opened up a lifeline for rendering mutual assistance in the fight against COVID-19. The number of China-Europe freight train trips rose by 22 percent year on year to 15,000 in 2021, according to China State Railway Group Co., Ltd.

Such resilient economic ties have brought confidence and hope to business and people of both sides as well as those of the rest of the world who are caught in the harsh winter of the pandemic.

Cooperation, not rivalry, is the only right choice for both sides. Europe needs to discard the misguided "partner-competitor-rival" perception of its relations with China, stick to the keynote of mutual benefit, and view bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective. Otherwise, political prejudice and ideological shortsightedness will sour a robust China-EU economic partnership, one of the key engines for global economic recovery.

China and the EU have other important roles to play to make this world a better place. They need to work more closely on various regional and international affairs to promote global stability and safeguard world peace, and offset growing uncertainties with ever stabler China-EU ties.

On the Ukraine crisis, the two sides should stay levelheaded and bear in mind the bigger picture. It is also important to refrain from a one-sided perspective of the issue, prevent this regional conflict from magnifying, and continue to facilitate peace talks whenever possible.

As two great civilizations, China and the EU should, as Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged, do more to cope with global challenges for the shared future of humanity.

Both China and the EU are strong and consistent champions of multilateralism. To improve global governance and make the international order more just and equitable, it is imperative to advocate a vision of global governance featuring the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

To guarantee a sustainable future for the human race, the two sides also need to shoulder the responsibility to keep on working in sync to follow through their commitments to facilitating a green and digital transformation, reducing carbon emissions, protecting biodiversity and mitigating climate change.

In a world littered with risks and challenges of the most treacherous nature, how and what China and the EU choose to do together can make a real and lasting difference. An unshirkable historic responsibility is for both sides to carry forward the fine legacy of their relations and jointly build a China-EU partnership featuring peace, growth, reform and civilization.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.