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Consolidating Sino-French Ties
Cover Stories Series 2013> Consolidating Sino-French Ties
UPDATED: May 6, 2013 NO. 19 MAY 9, 2013
Sharing the Chinese Dream

We are willing to share the Chinese dream with Europe and the world. As trends moving toward multi-polarity, economic globalization and an information society gain momentum, countries in the global village are becoming more interconnected and interdependent. The destinies of China and Europe have never been as intertwined as they are today. While the EU remains China's largest trade partner and technology supplier, China is the EU's largest source of imports and second largest export market. Bilateral trade has soared from $80 billion to $546 billion over the past decade. Every year, 5 million visits are made between China and Europe, with more than 70 flights traveling to and fro each day. China and Europe share common interests and similar stances when it comes to advocating multilateralism, strengthening global governance, promoting world economic recovery and dealing with various global challenges. We have conducted extensive coordination and cooperation in a wide range of international and regional hotspot issues. These facts provide evidence that China-Europe relations are strengthening and deepening. To raise these relations to a new height, we need to make joint efforts in the following areas:

First, we should uphold the principle of win-win cooperation to grasp the correct direction of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Win-win cooperation is the essence of this partnership. In an interdependent world, relations between countries are characterized by neither cutthroat competition nor a zero-sum game. China firmly supports the European integration process as well as Europe's efforts to cope with the sovereign debt crisis. It considers a united, prosperous and strong Europe a boon to China and the world. Europe, for its part, is supportive of China's reform and opening up and regards China's development as an opportunity. We should transcend differences in social systems, abandon the zero-sum mentality and put into practice the concepts of mutual support and win-win cooperation. We should also compete in an inclusive and healthy manner while sharing benefits and responsibilities.

Second, we should expand cooperation to lay a solid economic foundation for the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. As China works to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society and as Europe implements the Europe 2020 Strategy, we will find more converging interests, which will present new opportunities for deepening cooperation. China's changing economic development pattern as well as its growing consumer demand, imports and investment in Europe will offer new business opportunities to European industries and drive growth and job creation in Europe. The EU's advanced development concepts, managerial expertise and technology will inject a fresh impetus to China's development. We should explore new ways of collaboration, expand areas of cooperation and promote the balanced and sustainable development of bilateral trade. We should strengthen cooperation in scientific research and innovation, deepen cooperation in energy and environment protection and advance partnerships in urbanization. We should try to make urbanization, the green economy and technological innovation new highlights of China-Europe cooperation.

Third, we should strengthen cultural exchanges to create a spiritual bond for the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. While economic and trade interests lay the material groundwork for strengthening China-Europe relations, mutual understanding and trust between peoples offer emotional support. We should be more active in boosting exchanges between all sectors of Chinese and European societies while working more closely together in the cultural field. We should shape a favorable public opinion for friendly relations between China and Europe through developing non-governmental ties. We should also build a bridge to mutual understanding and friendship through cultural exchanges.

Fourth, we should manage disputes and friction in a proper way that serves the overall interests of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. In light of our different historical and cultural backgrounds, social systems and development stages, it is normal that China and Europe do not see eye to eye on some issues. Given our expanding economic and trade ties, competition and friction are also unavoidable. We should show mutual respect, mutual understanding, equality and a give-and-take attitude. We should be able to better empathize with one another. While protecting one's own interests, one should take the partners' reasonable concerns into consideration. We should resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiations in the spirit of ensuring win-win outcomes in bilateral cooperation.

Fifth, we should jointly confront global challenges and strive for a harmonious world of enduring peace and shared prosperity. As important powers in the current international system, China and Europe assume major responsibilities for safeguarding world peace and development. No country can address global challenges such as the financial crisis, resource shortages, climate change, nuclear security and terrorism alone. China and Europe must work in concert. We should take an active part in global governance, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, oppose protectionism of all forms and continue to communicate with and support each other on global and regional hotspot issues. We believe that with joint efforts, China and Europe will properly manage and preserve their deepening comprehensive strategic partnership and make due contributions to world peace and development.

Email us at: yanwei@bjreview.com

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