EU and China strate­gic part­ners for long run

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

On 6May 1975, forty years ago, China and the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (EEC) of­fi­cially es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions. It was a de­ci­sion taken with ex­cep­tional fore­sight on both sides. The world was be­gin­ning to move to­wards a more mul­ti­po­lar or­der: China and Europe wanted to lead that trans­for­ma­tion.

Great changes have taken place since then. China’s open­ing up and re­form pol­icy has brought about re­mark­able achieve­ments over the past 40 years. The EEC has evolved into the Euro­pean Union. We have sup­ported each other’s devel­op­ment and worked to­gether to deal with global chal­lenges such as the fi­nan­cial crises in 2008. Our mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion, no­tably our trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, has made an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to not only China’s devel­op­ment and Euro­pean in­te­gra­tion, but the world’s peace and devel­op­ment as well.

Con­fu­cius said that: “At forty, I had no more doubts.” As the EU-China re­la­tion­ship en­ters its for­ti­eth year, we are now work­ing to­gether to find ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions to is­sues of the high­est pri­or­ity for world peace and se­cu­rity.

We have both been per­son­ally in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions on the Ira­nian nu­clear is­sue, en­cour­aged all par­ties to reach a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment on the key pa­ram­e­ters of a Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion. This aims to en­sure the se­cu­rity of the re­gion, and sets an im­por­tant prece­dent for pro­mot­ing non-pro­lif­er­a­tion in other parts of the world. We both be­lieve that a pos­i­tive out­come would have been im­pos­si­ble with­out the com­mit­ment of all par­ties, and we are now co­or­di­nat­ing closely to reach an com­pre­hen­sive agree­ment.

Through our joint ef­forts, bi­lat­er­ally and with other in­ter­na­tional part­ners, we have man­aged to curb piracy at­tacks dras­ti­cally and to se­cure safety of nav­i­ga­tion in So­ma­lia and the Gulf of Aden. The EU ATA­LANTA mission and Chi­nese PLA-N also con­ducted their first two naval ex­er­cises off theHorn of Africa last year. While this co­op­er­a­tion will con­tinue, we need to look at ways to ad­dress the root causes of piracy on land. We also in­tend to ex­pand our fo­cus to pro­mot­ing peace and se­cu­rity in Africa, by sup­port­ing the ca­pac­ity of the African Union and work­ing to­gether in places such asMali.

Our com­mon suc­cesses em­bolden us to keep on the same track. To­gether we can ad­dress other long­stand­ing peace and se­cu­rity chal­lenges such as theMid­dle East Peace Process, where we are both com­mit­ted to a com­pre­hen­sive, two-state so­lu­tion. Both China and the EU are con­vinced that the con­flict in Ukraine can only be solved by diplo­matic means and through full re­spect for in­ter­na­tional law, es­pe­cially re­spect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and in­de­pen­dence. We call on all sides to fully as­sume their re­spon­si­bil­ity and to im­ple­ment their com­mit­ments un­der theMinsk agree­ments.

When Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping vis­ited the Euro­pean Union last year, we were com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing po­ten­tial syn­er­gies be­tween EU poli­cies and China’s “Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt” ini­tia­tive. As two ma­jor forces on the Eurasian con­ti­nent, the EU and China should make joint ef­forts, to­gether with the coun­tries along the Silk Road, to strengthen com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­or­di­na­tion on this topic.

We also have a shared re­spon­si­bil­ity for coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism in all forms. The EU has been grate­ful for Chi­nese ef­forts to evac­u­ate and bring back to safety Chi­nese, Euro­pean and other cit­i­zens from Ye­men. Our ef­forts should con­tinue now to­wards ad­dress­ing the acute crises in Syria, Libya and Ye­men by work­ing to­wards ne­go­ti­ated po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tions un­der the aegis of the United Na­tions. And we should do ev­ery­thing we can to pre­vent such crises to arise in the fu­ture.

We have come such a long way since 1975, when our re­la­tion­ship was based on trade and eco­nomic re­la­tions only. But in forty years we have also reached an un­prece­dented level of in­ter­de­pen­dence. Our trade now reaches, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese statis­tics, as much as $600 bil­lion, and some 16,000 pas­sen­gers are trav­el­ling be­tween China and EU coun­tries on over 70 flights each day. We are com­mit­ted to strength­en­ing trade and eco­nomic ties, fa­cil­i­tat­ing peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes, and to boost­ing two-way in­vest­ment and im­prov­ing mar­ket ac­cess on a re­cip­ro­cal ba­sis.

Over the decades, we have also learnt that devel­op­ment has to be sus­tain­able and in­clu­sive, with struc­tural re­forms and in­no­va­tion at its core. We can only achieve th­ese goals if we work to­gether, through con­struc­tive in­ter­ac­tion and mu­tual sup­port. This is the essence of our strate­gic part­ner­ship.

China and the EU are accountable for the well­be­ing of about a quar­ter of the globe’s pop­u­la­tion. Our two economies im­pact im­mensely on those around us. We should co-or­di­nate more closely at the mul­ti­lat­eral level. We are now ded­i­cat­ing sig­nif­i­cant re­sources to ad­vanc­ing the cli­mate change ne­go­ti­a­tions and se­cur­ing an am­bi­tious pos­si­ble out­come at the Paris Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties. The up-com­ing EU-China Sum­mit will be partly ded­i­cated to designing a joint ap­proach.

The UN post-2015 devel­op­ment agenda of­fers an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity and means to al­le­vi­ate and erad­i­cate poverty, and to pro­mote growth and hu­man rights, not least the right to devel­op­ment. EU and China will work to­gether for a fair, in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able post-2015 agenda.

This year marks the 70th an­niver­sary of the end ofWorldWar II and the found­ing of the United Na­tions. China and Europe are amongst those who built and main­tained the post-WorldWar II in­ter­na­tional or­der based on the UN Char­ter. We will con­tinue to up­hold the pur­poses and prin­ci­ples of the Char­ter, and their uni­ver­sal­ity, and work ac­tively for peace, devel­op­ment and hu­man rights in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, the rule of law in in­ter­na­tional gov­er­nance, and a more eq­ui­table in­ter­na­tional or­der. Wang Yi is Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter, and Fed­er­i­caMogherini is High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Euro­pean Union for For­eign Af­fairs and Se­cu­rity Pol­icy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.