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CPC committed to China-Europe relations

Updated: 2012-05-23 14:26
By Li Jinjun (

Li Jinjun says the push for extensive China-Europe inter-party exchanges is heralding a new era of cooperation.

The Communist Party of China (CPC), as a 91-year old party with 80 million members and 63 years in government, always values its friendly relations with European political parties and organisations and is committed to facilitating relations between China and Europe - both as individual nations and the European Union as a whole - through party channels.

Over the past half-century, inter-party relations between China and Europe have gone from strength to strength thanks to concerted efforts. Since the 1980s in particular, with China's reform and opening up, the CPC has expanded its connections with European parties across the political spectrum in the spirit of seeking mutual understanding and cooperation while transcending ideological differences.

Into the new century, China-Europe inter-party exchanges have become increasingly dynamic, engaging more parties and covering more areas in the contents. The CPC now has links with over 150 national parties and five regional parties in Europe and five political party groups in the European parliament. Exchanges on the party level now constitute an important part of China-EU cooperation and serve as an important propeller for China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era.

Facing a complicated and variable international landscape with prominent global challenges, China and Europe, as the largest developing country and the largest conglomerate of developed countries respectively, have more converging interests and a stronger need for mutually beneficial cooperation. The two sides are faced with new opportunities to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership. To enhance inter-party interactions under new circumstances for the comprehensive, steady and sound development of China-Europe relations, political parties of the two sides can focus on six areas.

First, carry out more dialogue and communication on global challenges and major international topics to help strengthen strategic mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation in global affairs.

Second, strengthen strategic orientation of China-EU relations and build consensus to ensure relations develop steadily and soundly along the right track for the long run.

Third, have more experience-sharing in running government and party affairs to forge stronger mutual understanding and to learn from each other for the benefit of the people.

Fourth, push forward mutually beneficial business cooperation, especially in emerging industries related to green economy, clean energy and environmental protection.

Fifth, facilitate people-to-people and cultural exchanges in order to enhance mutual understanding, trust and goodwill between the Chinese and European peoples and to further consolidate the groundwork of bilateral relations in society.

Sixth, iron out differences and disputes. When major sensitive issues occur to bilateral relations, political parties of the two sides, especially ruling parties, can serve as a unique channel of communication to intensify consultation and coordination and guide public opinions to mitigate misunderstanding and miss-judgment so that the overall China-Europe relations will not be harmed by individual problems.

Over the decades, the CPC and European parties have engaged themselves in diverse forms of exchanges including dialogue, seminars and workshops, etc. The China-Europe high level political parties forum launched in 2010 is a shining example.

The forum is peculiar with three features. First, it has a wide involvement. European parliament party groups and individual parties of various colours in Europe, despite different philosophies and policies, have gathered together to dialogue with the CPC. Second, it talks about both principle matters and practical issues. Topics range from strategic ideas to pragmatic joint efforts, such as new opportunities and initiatives for cooperation in business, trade and global governance. Side events such as a business fairs, youth dialogues and roundtables on market economy status have been held in parallel to the forum. Third, it focuses on censuses without shunning differences. On the basis of equality, inclusiveness and mutual respect, participants not only talk about development tasks, common interests and challenges of the two sides, but also discuss issues of respective concerns such as China’s full market economy status and EU restrictions on the export of hi-tech products to China, as well as democracy and human rights.

Over three years, the Forum has helped to drive home the concept of mutual understanding, tolerance, equality and win-win cooperation and has added momentum to the long-term, steady and sound development of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

The third session of the China-Europe high level political parties forum themed on “How can the EU and China cooperate to meet common challenges” will be held in Brussels at the end of May. We look forward to further exchanges with European parties and forging more consensus on China-Europe cooperation.

As one of the officials in charge of CPC's international engagement, I have had the honour to witness how exchanges boomed between the CPC and parties in Europe in the 1980s, and I am now personally involved in the exploration among Chinese and Europe political parties for closer bonds, stronger mutual trust and cooperation.

I am very happy about the current development momentum in inter-party ties and overall relations between China and Europe. I'm confident that with joint efforts, we will create a better tomorrow.

Li Jinjun is the international department vice-minister for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

[Source: The Parliament]

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