Interview: China, EU have common ground to build comprehensive strategic partnership -- analyst

Source: Xinhua| 2020-09-16 12:09:25|Editor: huaxia

NICOSIA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- China and the European Union (EU) share a profound common ground to "build a comprehensive strategic partnership with greater global influence," a Cypriot academic told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"The EU and China have much in common. They are the two main powers, two most important markets and two major civilizations in the world," said Kostas Gouliamos, the rector of the European University in Nicosia, commentating on Monday's video conference between the Chinese and EU leaders.

China and the EU will play a key role towards building a community with a shared future for mankind, said Gouliamos, who is also vice president of the Nicosia-based think-tank Promitheas.

"It is of paramount importance that the leaders of China and the EU announced the signing of an agreement on geographical indications. It is also very positive that they decided to accelerate the process on overlapping interests, especially in terms of negotiation on the investment agreement," he said.

The Chinese and EU leaders also decided to establish a high-level dialogue on environment and climate, and one in the digital field, to build their green partnership and digital cooperative partnership.

Gouliamos said that from an environmental standpoint, the EU and China share a commitment in global sustainable development, based on the implementation of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, which presents opportunities for closer cooperation.

"The Chinese model of a harmonious and balanced development has been perceived positive by the European citizens and opinion leaders," Gouliamos said, adding that Chinese President Xi Jinping's leadership improves China's peaceful development and cooperation with Europe and other world communities.

The analyst said that the four principles for developing China-EU relations put forward by Xi during the video conference -- peaceful coexistence, openness and cooperation, multilateralism, and dialogue and consultation -- are remarkable.

"President Xi Jinping appropriately called the two sides to decisively stimulate a vigorous and constant development of their comprehensive strategic partnership," Gouliamos said.

EU policymakers, diplomats as well as the European business community have noted that China stands ready to strengthen cooperation with the EU on important international and regional issues, and contribute to global health governance as humankind is standing at a new crossroads due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

"It is worthy to note the fact that China is the first major nation returning to positive GDP growth in the post-pandemic period. Moreover, China's economy will surpass that of the EU by 2022," Gouliamos said.

The academic further noted that as this year marks the 45th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic ties, it is imperative to highlight the fact that the EU has been China's largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years.

He said that China contributed 22.5 trillion dollars, or 17.3 percent of the world's 130.1 trillion dollars in gross domestic product, according to estimates by the World Bank.

"In many ways, China's continual economic rise presents a rare opportunity for Europe," he said.

Gouliamos noted that the EU should strive to build a favorable Sino-European economic and diplomatic relationship. Enditem