Spotlight: An unprecedented call to expand China-EU cooperation in post-pandemic era

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-24 16:10:21|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Echoing Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks on relations between China and the European Union (EU) during a recent virtual meeting, experts and analysts worldwide have called on the two sides to expand cooperation in an unprecedented era after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xi had a video conference with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Monday night. And Chinese Premier Li Keqiang co-hosted the leaders' meeting together with the two presidents from the EU side.

As two major forces, huge markets and great civilizations in the world, what China and the EU advocate and oppose and in what areas they cooperate will have global significance, Xi told the 22nd China-EU leaders' meeting on Monday.

Their international roles can explain why broader and deeper China-EU cooperation is an unprecedented urgent call as the world is struggling to recover from the pandemic.


China and the EU should serve as two major forces to maintain global peace and stability, Xi has said, noting that China is willing to communicate with the European side on major issues.

Echoing Xi's viewpoint, Andras Inotai, former director of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences World Economics Research Institute, said that the EU and China, both playing responsible roles in keeping global peace and security and driving the world economy, must join hands to tackle these emerging global challenges together.

As Washington has withdrawn from several international organizations, the two sides are dual-tasked -- on the one hand, to support the operation of existing international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO); on the other hand, to creat new frameworks helpful in promoting international cooperation, Inotai said.

Brian Lantz, representative of the Schiller Institute in Houston, appreciated Xi's insights, saying "it is profoundly stated that all nations have their destinies closely connected, and humanity is in fact a community with a shared future."

"Be it in taming the COVID-19 virus or in achieving economic recovery, humanity cannot succeed without solidarity and cooperation," Lantz said, calling on China, the United States and European countries to continue to seek positive relations on the basis of seeking common ground to ensure mutual peace and economic progress.


Xi also said that China and the EU should serve as two huge markets that promote global development and prosperity.

The two economies, together accounting for one-third of global gross domestic product, share broad common interests in trade and investment.

"Europe and China form two of the largest and most dynamic living and economic areas in the world -- on one and the same land mass, the Eurasian continent," said Alexander Welzl, president of the Vienna-based China Data Analysis and Research Hub, in a written interview with Xinhua on Monday.

"Europe and China together, with their combined weight, can bring subtle and meaningful changes and adjustments to the regulations in the area of the financial industry and achieve meaningful agreements," Welzl said.

Observing the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus to many countries, Gai Lin, secretary-general of the EU-China Friendship Association in the European Parliament, told Xinhua that the EU bloc and China need each other more than ever before in various fields such as medical care, biological sciences, big data, artificial intelligence, and food and commodities trade.

"A deeper, broader, more scientific and effective cooperation relationship will help both sides resume economic development in the post-epidemic period," he said.


China and Europe should also serve as two great civilizations that adhere to multilateralism and help improve global governance, the Chinese president said at the Monday meeting.

Describing China as "a top priority in the EU's external relations," Men Jing, director of the EU-China Research Center under the College of Europe, said that "from climate change to industrial policy, from supply chain adjustment to WTO reform, bilateral or multilateral in nature, the EU cannot do without cooperation with China."

"As for collaboration and cooperation between China and the EU, I would say that there are a number of areas of mutual interest that can serve to maintain stability and growth of the world," including sustained support for multilateralism and strengthening global governance mechanisms, said Jon R. Taylor, political science professor and department chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Given uncertainties over U.S.-China ties, the China-EU relationship is vitally important as the world begins the process of recovering from the fallout caused by the pandemic, Taylor said.

Noting that the leaders' meeting has no doubt generated the necessary impetus to better China-EU relations, Cavince Adhere, a Kenyan international relations researcher, suggested leaders "seize the momentum and see both sides weather the impacts of the pandemic while buttressing their economic ties."

In a world confronting compounding challenges, "China and the EU can set examples on productive forms of international relations where multilateralism and free trade is the norm rather than an exception," said Adhere. Enditem