China Public Diplomacy Association and Friends of Europe Co-Host EU-China Pre-Summit Briefing and Policy & Practice Roundtable
2019-07-16 16:07:00

  In order to boost mutual understanding, mutual trust, and communications among all the sectors between China and EU, China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA), Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe and China’s Mission to the European Union jointly hosted EU-China Pre-Summit Briefing and Policy & Practice Roundtable in Brussels, themed on “Can Cooperation Trump Competition?”. Vice President of CPDA Hu Zhengyue led a 10-people delegation, including experts, scholars, and representatives of media and enterprises, attended the seminar. Zhang Ming, Chinese Ambassador to EU, Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific of European External Action Service (EEAS), together with other 60 people were also present at the seminar.

  This seminar was hosted right after the 9th round of China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue, and before President Xi Jinping’s travel to Europe and Premier Li Keqiang’s joining the 21st China-EU Summit. During the seminar, representatives from China and the EU conducted in-depth discussions on how to strengthen cooperation, cope with challenges, and develop healthy and stable China-EU relations in the changing world with new situations, ranging from economic and trade relations, WTO reform cooperation, the Belt and Road cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and human rights issues.

  Hu said in his concluding remark that China-EU relations are very crucial. China always views the EU from a strategic and global perspective, and regards the development of China-EU relations as a long-term priority for foreign policy. This position hasn’t and will not change. China-EU relations should be viewed from a higher and further perspective. Today’s China-EU relations are won by several generations’ efforts, which do not come easily and should be cherished and enhanced. There are cooperation and competition between the two sides, but the mainstream should be cooperation. Cooperation trumps competition, and we share more common consensus than differences. We should find ways to make use of each other’s respective advantages, and make the pie bigger and bigger so that it can benefit the whole world. China is entering a crucial period of a new round of reform and opening-up. And we are open to EU investment and hope that the EU will treat Chinese companies equally. China will host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April this year. It’s hoped that the EU members could seize the opportunity and participate in discussions and cooperation more rationally and positively.

  The European side expressed that the EU is a reliable strategic partner to China. There are cooperation and competition between the two sides, and also differences on some issues, but coordination and cooperation are the only resolution. The two sides should conduct further coordination and cooperation on issues such as climate change, peacekeeping, Iranian nuclear issue and Korean Peninsula issue for the peace and development of the world. The EU hopes to continue communication with China on issues including European companies’ business environment in China, maximizing the synergy between European Connectivity Strategy and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and also bilateral investment treaty.

  Xu Jian, former Chinese Ambassador to Slovenia, Romania and Poland, Zhang Yansheng, senior researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Wang Yiwei, Director of the European Union Research Center of Renmin University if China, Fu Jing, Managing Director of China Daily’s think tank China Watch Institute, Pan Qingjiang, Vice President of China Harbour Engineering Company and Yan Lugen, Chairman of Nanjing Bai Jia Lake International Culture Investment Group also delivered speeches at the meeting.