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      China-EU leaders' meeting injects hope to turbulent world

      0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 3, 2022
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      Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen via video link in Beijing, capital of China, April 1, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

      Chinese and EU leaders met via video link on Friday, as the world is confronted with the raging COVID-19 pandemic, a faltering economic recovery and the Ukraine crisis.

      Observers said the meeting sends a positive message to the world in the midst of all uncertainties, highlighting the significance of China-EU relations and why it is important for the EU to develop its own perception of China.

      Adding stability to turbulent world

      Recalling his visit to the EU headquarters eight years ago when he had called on China and Europe to foster a partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China's vision remains unchanged.

      "If anything, it has become more relevant under the current circumstances," Xi told European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during Friday's virtual meeting.

      Xi stressed that China and the EU should act as two major forces upholding world peace, and offset uncertainties in the international landscape with the stability of China-EU relations.

      "In a turbulent world facing the raging COVID-19 pandemic and a struggling global economic recovery, the fact that Chinese and EU leaders had in-depth and candid discussions on major issues concerning global peace and development itself injects positive energy to the world," said Deng Li, Chinese vice foreign minister.

      Speaking to Xinhua, Branimir Vidmarovic, professor at the University of Pula in Croatia, said China has the power and the global significance to act as a bridge between the East and the West and to provide different solutions, though there is a growing mistrust between the West and the East.

      Bernard Accoyer, former president of the French National Assembly, said friendship is essential for progress in any field, including social progress and peace, which are at the center of all the concerns.

      Concerning the Ukraine crisis, Xi pointed out that the root cause is the regional security tensions in Europe that have built up over the years, adding that China and the EU need to commit themselves to keeping the situation under control, preventing spillover of the crisis, and, most importantly, keeping the system, rules and foundation of the world economy stable, in order to bolster public confidence.

      President Xi's comment suggests China and Europe should aim high. They have the potential to reduce conflicts as well as the anti-globalization and protectionist voices in the world, said Cui Hongjian, director of the department for European studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

      EU needs independent China policy

      Noting that China will stay committed to deepening reform and further opening up, Xi said China welcomes European business investment and expects the EU to provide a fair, transparent and nondiscriminatory environment for Chinese business investment and development in Europe.

      Xi called on the EU to form its own perception of China, adopt an independent China policy, and work with China to promote the steady and sustained growth of China-EU relations and to add stabilizing factors to a turbulent world.

      "Under current circumstances, dialogue and cooperation remain the mainstream of China-EU relations, and mutual benefit the keynote of China-EU cooperation," Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a separate meeting with the two EU leaders on Friday.

      Li called on the two sides to build on the existing mechanisms to enhance policy coordination on COVID-19 response, climate change and the digital economy, and foster new cooperation highlights.

      If the European side manages to avoid unnecessary politicization of the relations, the prospects can be very good, especially in the fields of technology and green energy where China has the strength, Vidmarovic said.

      Oliver Zipse, chairman of the management board of BMW AG, told Xinhua that China has been Germany's most important trading partner for years, and the company's experience in China is a good example of the successful collaboration between the two countries and between China and Europe.

      The two EU leaders said during the meeting that both sides are committed to defending peace and multilateralism. Reaffirming their commitment to the one-China principle, they added that under the current international situation, it is vital for the EU and China to increase dialogue and cooperation.

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