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China Daily Website

A historic opportunity to advance China-EU cooperation

Updated: 2013-05-26 11:02

BEIJING - Premier Li Keqiang has arrived in Berlin for an official visit, opening up a historic opportunity to firm up China's cooperation with Germany and the European Union (EU) at large.

The China-Germany relationship is now in its best shape in history, and their fruitful practical cooperation has evolved into a paragon of China-West interaction.

A telling illustration of the Beijing-Berlin close rapport is their intergovernmental consultation mechanism, which arches over dozens of dialogue and communication channels and represents the highest level of its kind between China and the West.

With China being Germany's largest trading partner in the Asia-Pacific region and Germany being China's in Europe, bilateral cooperation has reached an unprecedentedly high level.

Yet they can do more. For starters, China's rapid stride toward industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, together with its unswerving commitment to opening-up, promises a bonanza of opportunities.

Thus the Chinese premier's ongoing visit marks a momentous chance for the two sides to unlock their enormous potential and bring more concrete benefits to their peoples.

The opportunity is for the broader EU, too. Given Germany's leading role in the EU and the scale of China-Germany trade -- now accounting for nearly one third of the China-EU total, the traction of zippier Beijing-Berlin cooperation will be felt across Europe.

With the debt-ridden continent still trying to get back on its feet and the world economy reeling from alarming uncertainties, China-EU collaboration has taken on an extra layer of urgency.

A vigorous Europe and a stable euro accord with China's interest. By joining hands together, the Asian giant and the European block can not only galvanize their own growth but contribute more to world development.

China and Europe vary in many aspects, and their interaction cannot be friction-free. However, they should handle their differences and even disputes properly and prevent minor controversies from hindering overall relations. They have the vision and wisdom to do so.

It is truly regrettable and detrimental that the European Commission has recently resorted to trade measures against Chinese products, including a planned punitive tax on solar panels and a proposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into mobile telecom equipment.

Protectionism harms all. The EU should resist the temptation of anticompetitive measures, and work with China to advocate free trade and oppose protectionism in all its forms.

Meanwhile, benign competition is not a zero-sum game. The two highly complementary economies can make full use of their respective advantages and make a bigger cake to share between them.

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