Sat, 31 Oct 2020

BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks during a virtual meeting on China's relations with the European Union(EU) are crucial to multilateral cooperation and a global economic recovery, experts have said.

Speaking to EU leaders, Xi said China and the EU should adhere to peaceful coexistence, openness and cooperation, multilateralism, as well as dialogue and consultation for the sound and stable development of their relations.

Xi made the remarks when co-hosting a meeting held on Monday via video link with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Christine Bierre, editor-in-chief of France's Nouvelle Solidarite magazine and an expert at the Schiller France Institute, said four principles to promote EU-China ties that Xi proposed at the meeting are objective and rational, charting the course for future development of bilateral relations and sending a positive signal on safeguarding world peace, stability and prosperity.

The EU and China have put forward a series of specific arrangements for further deepening cooperation, fully demonstrating that multilateral cooperation is the trend of the times, Bierre said.

George N. Tzogopoulos, director of EU-China Programs at the Center International de Formation Europeenne, a think tank headquartered in Nice, France, said the most important result of the meeting is that the EU and China have shown the world their consensus on closer cooperation.

Xi's proposal won broad approval in Europe, said Tzogopoulos, adding that the EU and China will proceed together in forging a multilateral world.

Sylwester Szafarz, former consul general of Poland in the Chinese city of Shanghai, said the meeting, held amid ongoing global upheaval due to the pandemic, is the latest testimony to the good partnership between China and the EU.

"There is no doubt that the agreement signed and the consensus reached at this summit will not only bring fruitful long-term results to the parties concerned, but also to the peoples of the entire Eurasian continent and even the whole world," Szafarz said.

"I call on the EU and China to work together to overcome existing obstacles to bring more diversified and rich results to the Belt and Road Initiative and other common causes between Europe and China, and promote the friendly and cooperative relations between Europe and China to a new height," Szafarz added.

Andras Inotai, former director of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences World Economics Research Institute, said this meeting is an important one between the EU and China at a crucial moment when the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and seeking to recover the global economy.

As two major global forces, the EU and China stressed the importance of safeguarding and strengthening multilateralism, which is in the common interests of both sides and helps bolster a global economic recovery in the post-epidemic era, Inotai added.

Martin Murray, executive director and co-founder of AsiaMatters, a think tank based in Ireland, said it is vital for the EU and China, as significant economies and strategic partners, to work together to drive a global recovery.

The official signing of the China-EU agreement on geographical indications shows the joint commitment to work together to create reciprocal trade benefits and provide consumers with high-quality products.

The summit "may be seen as a sign of the attention the EU pays to Asia, in general, and to China, in particular," said Liviu Muresan, president of the Bucharest-based EURISC think tank.

The expert underlined how obvious it is becoming that the EU leadership is working towards a sustainable and comprehensive relationship with China, one that would cover various domains ranging from economic issues, politics, technology, health, climate change, to some sensitive issues including human rights.

"In a nutshell, we can consider that today's virtual summit was a success, achieving consensus on geographical indications, speeding up the process of reaching an agreement on EU-China investments, and also making progress with a sustainable dialogue on climate, the environment and IT related issues," said Muresan.

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