Nation casts EU relations in growth mold
China’s development offers an opportunity, not a challenge or a “threat”, to the European Union, and the two sides share more cooperation than competition, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said on Tuesday.
Wang told a press conference in Beijing that China is willing to join forces with the EU to promote the Belt and Road Initiative and align with the Global Gateway. EU, an infrastructure initiative announced last year, while expanding cooperation and deepening related mechanisms.
“It is normal for the two sides to have differences and disputes due to different histories and cultures, social systems and different stages of development, but the two sides could strengthen communication to promote healthy competition,” he said. he said, adding that China and the EU were partners, not rivals.
The two sides could have pragmatic cooperation in the fields of COVID-19 containment, green, digital, financial and technological, among others, and should jointly advance the ratification and entry into force of the comprehensive agreement on the EU-China investment, to inject more stability and positive energy for bilateral relations, Wang said.
They could intensify coordination and cooperation in multilateral frameworks such as the G20, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, in order to promote the implementation of global development initiatives, to maintain the multilateral trading system with the ‘WTO at the center and to promote WTO reforms in the right direction,’ he added.
“We should adhere to openness and inclusiveness, abandon the zero-sum mentality, oppose protectionism and deepen market opening,” Wang said.
“China and the EU could strengthen bilateral cooperation, as well as third-party market cooperation, which will not only contribute to the economic development of both sides, but also to the recovery and stable development of the global economy.”
Cui Fan, professor of international trade at Beijing University of International Trade and Economics, said China and the EU should strengthen communication to remove obstacles to the implementation of their bilateral investment agreement. .
According to Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, China and the EU already have a solid cooperation base which has huge potential for growth, especially because the global supply is disrupted and that both sides share broad common interests in multilateral economic and trade rules, including within the framework of the WTO.
“The EU and China should take more initiatives to jointly promote pragmatic cooperation,” Zhou said. The two sides, he said, should advance long-term economic and trade cooperation, including mechanism-based cooperation agreements, which will reduce uncertainty for businesses seeking to expand.
Based on common interests and the trend of global economic development, the two sides should also strengthen cooperation and coordination in new areas that do not have widely established rules, such as e-commerce and anti- trust in the digital economy, he said.