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President Xi Jinping Met with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen
2020/06/22

President Xi Jinping met with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen via video link on the evening of 22 June.

Xi commended the mutual support and help between China and the EU in response to COVID-19 and expressed China’s readiness to work with the EU for the relationship to grow more solid and mature and reach greater heights in the post-COVID-19 era.

Xi said that China is both an ancient civilization with rich heritage and a developing country full of dynamism. What China pursues, he stressed, is peace rather than hegemony. Every policy China adopts and every effort it makes are aimed at building a better life for the Chinese people. He reaffirmed China’s unwavering commitment to peaceful development. “China offers an opportunity rather than a threat.” Xi said. As China continues to deepen reform and open up wider to the world, it will bring to the EU new opportunities for cooperation and new prospects of growth. “China is a partner rather than a rival.” Xi pointed out. Between China and the EU, there is no fundamental conflict of interests. The two sides have far more areas of cooperation than competition, and much more common understandings than differences. Xi stressed the importance of mutual respect, seeking common ground and pursuing harmony without uniformity. This will enable the two sides to build up mutual understanding and trust, expand the convergence of interests through cooperation and overcome difficulties through development. Together, China and the EU will make their comprehensive strategic partnership one of global significance.

Noting the profound changes caused by COVID-19, Xi shared his views on how China-EU relations should develop in a world with rising uncertainty and instability. “One must explore new opportunities and make new advances amid challenges and changes,” Xi said, “and the same is true for China-EU relations.” As two major forces, two big markets and two great civilizations, China and Europe can make a difference for the world by demonstrating what they stand for, what they oppose and what they can achieve in cooperation. Xi pointed out three directions for China and EU to work along:

China and the EU have to be two major forces for world peace and stability. Xi expressed China’s readiness to communicate with the EU on important issues and its confidence in the prospects of an even more united, stable, open and prosperous European Union. China welcomes the constructive contribution to international peace and stability by the EU, and will work with the EU to strengthen strategic cooperation to jointly respond to global challenges.

China and the EU have to be two major markets for world development and prosperity. As two major economies, China and Europe should serve as the “twin engines” for world economic recovery. The two sides should jointly support scientific and orderly reopening of economic activities, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, and ensure the steady and smooth functioning of global industrial and supply chains. They need to keep markets open to each other, accelerate negotiations on the China-EU investment agreement, strengthen green and digital cooperation, and build the green development partnership. The two sides need to step up third-party cooperation with Africa.

China and Europe have to be two major civilizations for upholding multilateralism and improving global governance. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China will always stand on the side of multilateralism, and conduct global governance in line with the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. China commends the EU for its strong commitment to multilateralism, participation in global cooperation against COVID-19 and increased contribution to the World Health Organization and other international institutions. China will work with the EU to step up coordination and cooperation on major regional and international issues, strengthen dialogue and collaboration on global public health governance, and jointly build a global community of health for all.

Xi stressed his readiness to maintain close communication with the two Presidents to advance the major political agenda between China and the EU and take the China-EU relations to a new level.

Michel and von der Leyen noted the vitality of the relations between China and the EU, two of the world’s major economies. In a world with mounting uncertainties, international cooperation is necessary for tackling global challenges, and dialogue and consultation are needed for addressing conflicts and regional instabilities. The EU is willing to engage in strategic dialogue and expand common ground with China in a candid manner. The EU will strengthen cooperation with China on vaccine development and economic reopening, expand bilateral trade, pursue greater progress in a wide range of areas including green and low-carbon development and digital economy, conclude the EU-China investment agreement as early as possible, and work together to overcome the impact of COVID-19 and drive global economic recovery. The EU is committed to multilateralism and will strengthen coordination and collaboration with China on major issues such as global health security, climate change, sustainable development and tripartite cooperation with Africa under such frameworks as the UN, the WTO and the G20. The EU will work with China to ensure the success of the major political agenda agreed to by the two sides.

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