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China, EU must pull together

Updated: 2013-10-30 06:58
( China Daily)

China and the European Union concluded their fourth high-level trade talks in Brussels last week. They were the first high-level trade dialogue between the two sides since China's new leadership took office in March.

A People's Daily commentary on Tuesday stressed that the two sides have reached important consensuses during the talks, and have sent a positive signal that China and the EU are committed to deepening and broadening their trade and economic cooperation.

China, EU must pull together

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai (R) meets with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels, Belgium, Oct 25, 2013. [Photo / Xinhua]

At present, the daily trade volume between China and the EU is $1.5 billion, but European Council President Herman Van Rompuy once referred to the two economies as being mutually in need of each other and inseparable, and a spirit of cooperation featuring mutual respect, reciprocity and a win-win outcome is indispensable if their trade ties are to grow as desired.

Considering the sheer size of their trade and the differences in their national conditions, cultural backgrounds and political systems, disputes and frictions are bound to occur; the crux of the matter, then, is how to properly handle them.

Among the consensuses they have reached in the Brussels talks, the two have agreed to exercise prudence over the use of trade remedy measures and step up communication and coordination within international platforms such as the World Trade Organization. Only by translating these consensuses into action can China and the EU enhance their ability to resist risks in trade.

Since 2012, the EU has been increasingly resorting to trade remedy measures targeting Chinese exporters, but as long as the two sides pull together in the same direction and strengthen cooperation, no obstacles are insurmountable. To nip any potential disagreements in the bud they should start communication on the issue at the earliest possible stage and search for solutions that cater to the interests of both sides.

In last week's trade talks, negotiations on an investment agreement have been a focal point. A comprehensive China-EU investment agreement will play a positive role in promoting and facilitating mutual investments as well as promoting bilateral trade cooperation to a higher level. At present, the potential of mutual investments has yet to be fully tapped. Both sides should quicken their steps so that negotiations on an investment agreement can be started at an early date.

(China Daily 10/30/2013 page8)