Meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday on the sidelines of the annual G20 Summit in New Delhi, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said that: “Risk prevention does not preclude co-operation, interdependence should not be equated with insecurity.” Li also met with European Council President Charles Michel.
Given the fact that China was the third-largest partner for EU exports of goods last year, and the largest partner for EU imports of goods, the importance of bilateral relations should be clear to both sides.
It is natural that the two sides have their differences, but it is not in the interest of either side to let the differences overshadow the common ground on which they can cooperate in a wide range of areas.
As the world is becoming increasingly pluralistic, it is neither in the interest of the EU itself nor for the good of world peace and development for EU leaders to overemphasize the ideological differences it has with China. It is important for EU leaders to realize that the EU is an important political force in the evolution to a multipolar world, and so is China when it comes to the question of global governance.
When global challenges such as climate change, pandemics and the sluggish development of the global economy pose an increasingly severe risk to the well-being of all countries, stable and constructive relations between the EU and China make a great difference to effective global governance.
Chinese leaders have reiterated time and again that China is willing to cooperate with all countries on the basis of equality and mutual interest. China always maintains that no country should interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and disputes should be settled through dialogue.
What China and EU countries have achieved in their economic and trade cooperation in the past decades has laid a solid foundation for further cooperation. There is no reason for either side to do anything to undermine such a stable foundation for their relations.
In the face of the growing uncertainties in the world, it is important that the EU and China do whatever they can to make their bilateral relations more predictable and constructive.
EU leaders need to have a vision for better relations with China beyond the differences between both sides. As Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said,while talking with the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell in July, the EU should “clarify” its vision of relations between the two sides. It should not vacillate, let alone encourage words and deeds that turn the clock back.
Editorial, China Daily