Asia and Europe share onus to rise to chal­lenge

China Daily (USA) - - VIEWS -

Premier Li Ke­qiang is to at­tend the 12th Asia-Europe Meet­ing to be held in Brus­sels, Bel­gium, on Oct 18-19. It is widely hoped that the 12th ASEM will help strengthen co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Asia and Europe to con­front pro­tec­tion­ism, uni­lat­er­al­ism and pop­ulism. Two ex­perts share their views on the is­sue with China Daily’s Liu Jianna. Ex­cerpts fol­low: ments to hold them back from col­lab­o­ra­tion. And with the back­ground of ris­ing pop­ulism in Europe and the pro­tec­tion­ism of the United States, the op­por­tu­ni­ties for China and Europe to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion count much more than the chal­lenges.

As to the crit­i­cism that China has di­vided Europe through co­op­er­a­tion with Cen­tral and Eastern Euro­pean coun­tries, it should be made clear that the in­ter­nal in­con­sis­ten­cies within Europe should not be at­trib­uted to any ex­ter­nal forces, in­clud­ing China. and lack of rel­a­tive com­pet­i­tive­ness, the EU has been stuck be­tween the US and the large emerg­ing economies, which in­clude China. This dilemma has led to a two-sid­ed­ness in its China poli­cies. On the one hand, it joins hands with China to up­hold free trade and mul­ti­lat­eral trade sys­tem. On the other, it crit­i­cizes China for its gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment, not eas­ing mar­ket ac­cess enough and not pro­tect­ing in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights; part of the agree­ment that the EU inked with the US ob­vi­ously tar­geted China.

As a mat­ter of fact, China and Europe share a lot of com­mon in­ter­ests on a num­ber of is­sues in­clud­ing cli­mate change and the Iran nu­clear is­sue. Also they share sim­i­lar ways of think­ing in devel­op­ment as the EU’s Asia-Europe strat­egy to im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity clearly mir­rors China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. The space for co­op­er­a­tion there­fore is im­mense.

China’s prac­tice of de­vel­op­ing re­la­tions, in­clud­ing trade re­la­tions with both the EU and its in­di­vid­ual mem­ber states, con­forms not only to all the par­ties’ in­ter­ests but is also con­ducive to so­cial and eco­nomic con­ver­gence within the EU. The charge that China is try­ing to drive wedges be­tween Euro­pean coun­tries re­flects mis­un­der­stand­ing.

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