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Independent, objective perception of China would stop EU being led astray: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2023-04-19 19:57
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Flags of China and the European Union are seen in this photo. [Photo/VCG]

With the United States constantly pressing its European allies to jump on its bandwagon to contain China's rise and development while peddling anti-China narratives worldwide, the European Union has increasingly tended to view China through a lens provided by the US and treat it as a strategic competitor and even a rival.

Such a perception is ideologically biased and detrimental to China-EU ties as it does not reflect either the width or depth of China's reciprocal cooperation with the EU.

China has repeatedly said the US' decoupling approach is neither reasonable nor feasible in a globalized world, and that it hopes the EU will stop blindly following the US and adopt a more independent, objective and pragmatic approach toward its interaction with China.

It is therefore good to hear more European voices calling for an independent policy toward China and speaking out against decoupling from the world's second-largest economy.

On Tuesday, some members of the European Parliament called on the EU member states to develop an autonomous policy toward China independent from that of the US and seek cooperation rather than confrontation with Beijing.

"After visiting China, French President Macron declared that Europe needs more strategic autonomy and should not be a vassal of the United States of America. I don't tend to agree with Emmanuel Macron, but this time I think he was right because the current European policy makes no sense and is destroying Europe," said non-attached Slovak MEP Milan Uhrik.

In the same vein, MEP Manu Pineda from Spain said the EU must be an independent actor in the development of an open and multipolar international order, and a commitment to the autonomy of the EU in its international policies is necessary for it to recover normality in its relations with China.

Recent intensive high-profile visits to China by European leaders and officials may have been of benefit in that respect as they seem to have helped foster a better understanding of China.

On the same day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen talked at length about her recent trip to China in a speech. While insisting that there is a need for Europe to work on de-risking some important and sensitive parts of its relations with China, she also reiterated that "decoupling is clearly not viable, desirable or even practical for Europe".

China-EU economic and trade relations are complementary and mutually beneficial.

In 2022, China-EU trade and economic cooperation remained resilient and dynamic, with their total trade volume hitting 856.3 billion euros ($910.6 billion), up 23 percent from 2021.

Considering the adverse impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the world economy, such an outcome is not only commendable but also conducive to the EU's economic development.

Further division and disunity will only bring more troubles to an already turbulent world, and consolidating the cooperative ties between China and the EU would help foster cordial relations and act as a global stabilizer.

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