Belgrade, Serbia | XINHUA | The just-concluded European tour of China’s top diplomat further demonstrated a need for stronger ties between the two sides to uphold multilateralism, stick to openness and scale up cooperation in the post-coronavirus world.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s trip to Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany came at a critical time when unilateralism is hurting global cooperation and international solidarity.
Reassuringly, upholding multilateralism is a major consensus reached during Wang’s trip. “The strongest voice heard during my trip to Europe is that we need to steadfastly safeguard multilateralism, and we agreed on this,” he said.
Based on such concensus, it is hopeful that China and the EU, by working together, can help the world stand on the right side of history.
The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the world’s call for multilateralism more than ever. While certain nation has been tearing apart international deals and shunning its obligations, countries around the world should oppose unilateralism and protectionism by enhancing cooperation within multilateral frameworks and abiding by their multilateral agreements.
Wang also undersocred the spirit of openness during his talks with European leaders. “Openness brings progress, while isolation leads to backwardness” in the complicated and changing world, he said.
Accordingly, China is ready to step up negotiations for an investment agreement with the EU and bilateral agreements with EU member countries on free trade and other common interests.
Moreover, by engaging in wider cooperation in trade, investment, and industry, China and the EU are capable of injecting a strong and lasting impetus in their development and the global economic recovery in the post-coronavirus world.
Recent years have already seen mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Europe through the Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Europe railway express, among others.
In fact, Wang’s European trip itself is a sign showing China is gradually normalizing high-level visits which were interrupted by the pandemic, creating preconditions for future cooperation, observed Volker Tschapke, honorary president of Germany’s Prussian Society.
By reaffirming commitments to multilateralism, openness and cooperation, China and the EU stand a good chance to forge a closer partnership that will bring benefits to both sides as well as the whole world.