2012: A Impott Ye of Tsitio fo Chi-EU Reltios
ear 2012 is an important year of tran-sition for China-EU relations. Witha more mature and stable compre-hensive strategic partnership, the two sideshave enjoyed frequent high level exchanges,stronger practical cooperation, expandingcultural and people-to-people exchange, andincreasing coordination and cooperation oninternational affairs. China-EU ties have beenushered into a key stage of comprehensive andin-depth growth.The frequent high-level exchanges andthe fruitful results of the China-EU Summithave helped effectively identify the strategicdirection of our bilateral ties. In 2012, the twosides have held the 14th and the 15th China-EU Summit, during which the two leadershipshave reviewed the development of our com-prehensive strategic partnership in the courseof last ten years and have reinforced the ag-reement to strengthen dialogue, cooperation,mutual benefit and win-win progress. Duringhis successful visit to the EU headquarters,Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has open-ed a new chapter for China-EU urbanizationcooperation. During the visit of State Counci-lor Liu Yandong, the two sides have launchedthe China-EU High Level People-to-PeopleDialogue. In addition, through the successfulorganization of the third High Level StrategicDialogue and the third High Level PoliticalParty Forum, the two sides have made greatprogress on policy coordination and exchange.Despite the difficulties, the two sides haveextended the areas of cooperation and madeheadways in trade and investment. Due to theslowing-down global economic recovery mo-mentum and the outstanding difficulties of the European sovereign debt crisis, trade andinvestment between China and Europe haveexperienced a decline. In the first 11 monthsof 2012, two-way trade in goods has fallen by 4.1% year-on-year to 495.7 billion US dollars.Chinese export to the EU has declined by 7%.In the first 10 months, European investmentin China decreased by 5%. The sovereign debtcrisis has also resulted in the rising trade protec-tionist sentiments in Europe. The trade remedy measures adopted by the EU against the Chine-se solar panel and other industries has already caused increasing frictions in our bilateral tra-de. Nevertheless, the interdependence, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation remain themain trend in China-EU relations. Both sidescontinue to uphold strong wishes to maintainand strengthen practical cooperation in suchareas as urbanization, new energy, scientific in-novation, and high and new technologies.The major upgrade of people-to-peopleexchange has consolidated the popular basisfor China-EU relations. In 2012, the two sideshave successfully launched the High LevelPeople-to-People Exchange Dialogue andcelebrated the Year of Intercultural Dialogue.Guided by the principle of promoting culturaldialogue and idea exchange, China and the EUhave organized nearly 300 projects covering22 Chinese regions (including Hong Kongand Macau) and 27 EU member states on a wide range of subjects, including literature,art, philosophy, youth exchange, and tourism.Currently, nearly 250,000 Chinese studentsare making grades in Europe. The populationof European students in China is also on therise, accounting for 10% of the total foreignstudents in China. With over 5 million visitsmade between the two peoples per year, thepeople-to-people exchange between Chinaand Europe will continue to grow both in its breadth and depth.The stronger coordination between Chi-na and the EU on regional and internationalissues has helped expand the global signifi-cance of China-EU cooperation. In 2012, thetwo sides have established the regular defenceconsultation mechanism, held the first policy dialogue on Latin America, and maintainedregular consultations on counterterrorism,non-proliferation, middle-east, the KoreanPeninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, and otherregional hotspot issues and issues related toglobal security. With the strengthened consul-tation on climate change, the two sides havehelped promote progress during the DohaClimate Change Conference. In addition, thetwo sides have continued to promote reformof the international financial and economicregime and the global governance throughmultilateral mechanisms. As the international situation experiencescomplex and profound changes, and as bothChina and Europe navigate through the key phase of economic adjustment and transfor-mative innovation, it is high time that twosides strengthened cooperation and expandedcommon interest. China and Europe must riseto the challenges and make good use of op-portunities. The report adopted by the 18thCongress of the Communist Party of Chinahas mapped out an encouraging blueprintfor China’s future development, creating nu-merous opportunities for both sides to dee-pen mutually beneficial cooperation. It is ex-pected that urbanization, ecological progress,scientific innovation, regional development,and social security will become new highlightfor growth, as the advanced technology andmanagement expertise from Europe and thehuge market potential from China will cometogether to create robust growth for the deve-lopment of both sides. Year 2013 celebrates the tenth anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic part-nership. The two sides should make good plansfor this important occasion so as to open a greatchapter for the China-EU relations for the nextdecade. We must continue to commit oursel- ves to the strategic direction of our relationsfeaturing mutual benefit and win-win growth, view each other as partners for development,approach the development of each other as anopportunity, expand shared interest, and striveto improve the quality and scale of coopera-tion across board. Moreover, we must work toconstantly strengthen political mutual trust. We should respect each other’s choice for andmodel of development, appreciate and supportthe core interest of the other party, and refrainfrom provoking or playing up trade frictions. Inthe face of disputes, we should follow the prin-ciple of mutual respect, equality, mutual bene-fit, and win-win progress to work out solutionsthrough dialogues.I strongly believe that with our concertedefforts, the China-EU relations will continueto stand the test of changes in the internatio-nal environment in 2013 and move forward toachieve healthy, stable, and sustainable growth.
B H.E. M. W HilogH.E. M. W Hilog,Chiese Ambssdo tothe EU
L-R, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, pictured at a meeting part of the EU-China top,in Egmont Palace, in Brussels, organised by the Federation of Entreprises of Belgium (VBO - FEB).|
BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE
The stogecooditio betweeChi d the EUo egiol ditetiolisses hs helped expdthe globl sigificceof Chi-EUcoopetio