It is necessary for China and the European Union to strengthen communication and enhance strategic coordination at all levels from heads of state to ordinary people, particularly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to dispel misunderstandings and promote their relations, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee said.
Huang Ping, a member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, said that a lack of face-to-face communication since the pandemic and the United States' hostile China policy have led to the EU's misunderstandings and even some groundless accusations against China.
"In general, the China-EU relationship has remained stable and good over the past 40 years. And indeed there are also some problems and disputes in this relationship that need to be solved through better communication," said Huang, who is also former director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of European Studies.
Huang said that issues concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region belong to China's internal affairs and are never problems between China and the EU, so the EU should not let such issues become obstacles in the China-EU relations.
"Otherwise, it is not good for both sides," he said.
The CPPCC member noted that both China and EU are champions of multilateralism and opening-up and the two sides share broad potential of cooperation on such areas as peace, green development and innovation as well as global issues such as climate change and terrorism.
"A more consolidated China-Europe relationship will not only benefit China and the European countries, but also countries around them and the world at large," he said, calling on China and EU to consider their relationship from a global perspective and eye on their practical and long-term interests.
China and Europe had fruitful cooperation last year, with two-way trade exceeding $800 billion for the first time. The China-Europe Railway Express also ran more than 15,000 cargo trips, which ensured the stability of industrial and supply chains amid the pandemic, thus facilitating global economic recovery, according to the Foreign Ministry.
"The investment deal between China and EU will give a good boost to the China-EU relationship if it could be brought forward this year," Huang added. In May 2021, the European Parliament halted ratification of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, a deal that will increasingly intertwine the economies of the two sides.
As this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation mechanism, Huang said that the China-CEEC cooperation, which keeps growing in areas including trade and investment, infrastructure and tourism, has served as a helpful supplement to the cooperation between China and EU, making it more balanced and comprehensive.
"From the Bulgarian roses to Greek olive oil, from Polish apples to Hungarian processed meat, the Chinese consumers have gained a better understanding of these countries as well as their culture and history through the various kinds of quality goods," he said, adding that the China-CEEC cooperation has greatly promoted the mutual understanding between the two sides.
"It is expected that the China-CEEC cooperation will continue to contribute to the China-EU cooperation and exchanges in the future," Huang added.
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