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Trip for solidarity, multilateralism and stability: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-08-25 20:00
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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi began an official visit to Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany on Tuesday at the invitation of his European counterparts.

Wang's visits, his first since the public health crisis showed signs of easing in some countries, underscores China's commitment to promoting relations with these European countries and the European Union at large.

In June, China and the European Union held the 22nd China-EU leaders' meeting via video links, which highlighted the great potential of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides and also set the tone for strengthening relations in the post-pandemic era. It is of the utmost importance that the two sides continue to build on this good momentum and make efforts to translate their leaders' consensus on promoting China-EU cooperation into concrete actions to push forward bilateral political and economic agendas.

It is expected that China and European countries will further explore cooperation in such fields as pandemic prevention and control, stability in the global supply chains, the digital economy and green economy during Wang's visits. The pandemic has prevented people from traveling and curbed people-to-people exchanges, but it has not severed communication and cooperation between countries.

And while the United States is attempting to undermine the spirit of international solidarity by using the pandemic to sow the seeds of confrontation, the EU and China, by fostering greater certainty in their relationship, can help consolidate global confidence in multilateralism and cooperation and fend off the ill wind of isolation and unilateralism.

There are no fundamental conflicts of interest between China and European countries, they share similar views on a wide range of regional and international issues, as demonstrated most recently by their shared opposition to the US move to reimpose sanctions on Iran. There are also great prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation, and this is especially true if the two sides can tap more of the green-transition potential in the post-pandemic era.

Although there is some competition between the two sides, and divergences on issues such as market access, by building on the strong foundation of their trade relations, which have demonstrated their resilience during the first half of the year, and connecting their recovery initiatives, the two sides can broaden and deepen their cooperation.

In the post-pandemic era, China and the EU will no doubt stand to gain from working together and injecting greater vitality into their relations. Realizing a more stable and mature relationship and lifting their ties to an even higher level will be beneficial to both sides and the world.

Most importantly, by cooperating on their common goal of promoting a greener post-pandemic economic recovery, China and the EU can assume cooperative leadership on the imperative global transition to green, sustainable development.

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