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Europeans express optimism about Party's leadership

By FU JING/LEI XIAOXUN/WANG MINGJIE/CECILY LIU | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-26 07:28

European political figures, business leaders and academics expressed their congratulations on the re-election of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Wednesday, shortly after Xi and other six leaders were elected as members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

They conveyed the feeling that under Xi's leadership, China will expand its diplomatic dimensions by deepening international openness, engagement and cooperation.

"I'd like to congratulate President Xi on his re-election and welcome his understanding that as a global community we need to cooperate," said Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of the European Committee of the Regions, during an interview with China Daily.

"This is especially important when it comes to climate change, which is one of the greatest threats we face today."

Citing the UN climate talks in Bonn next month, Lambertz said he expects that China will stand once again with the European Union in showing global leadership in declaring its commitment to the climate promises set out in Paris.

Jiri Paroubek, former prime minister of the Czech Republic, highly praised China's new leadership for their "incredible credentials".

"President Xi and the other members of the Standing Committee comprise a new generation of China's top leadership which, in my view, will bring China and the rest of world even closer," Paroubek said by phone from Prague.

Eric Domb, chairman of Pairi Daiza Zoo and Botanical Garden in Belgium, which Xi visited in 2014 to launch a panda garden, also congratulated Xi for his re-election as the highest Party leader. "We wish the president, his team and all of the Chinese people all the best," said Domb.

Xi also made a great impression when he visited Davos, Switzerland, early this year and his speech on open economy and free trade gained global attention. Tarzisius Caviezel, mayor of Davos, said it was a "great pleasure" to meet Xi, while calling his re-election an "honorable" one.

"We hope we will have further occasion to meet to strengthen our good relationship," Caviezel said.

UK-based China watchers expressed their high expectations for the Party's new leadership after its members were introduced on Wednesday in Beijing by Xi.

Commenting on their qualifications, Christopher Bovis, professor of international business law at the University of Hull, said: "The new leaders ... are focused, experts in their field, internationally oriented, dynamic and committed to the agenda of newly defined socialism."

The new central leadership will carry out reform plans and position people's interests at the heart of economic development."

In face of the new global challenges, Bovis said, the Party's choice of new leaders demonstrates its commitment to change and the need to expedite action in order to promote required reforms by responsible leadership for the newly envisaged environment of global leadership by China.

On the significance of the new leadership, Tom Harper, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Surrey, said he thinks that the recent changes, including the announcement of the new leadership, reflect the changes in China's stance.

"This in turn is reflected in the ideals of the Chinese Dream, which advocates a 'Chinese' future rather than the idea of convergence with the Western world that had previously been the concept of globalization. I believe that Xi's ideals are the latest part of that path," he said.

"This Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee looks very capable and experienced," said Stephen Perry, chairman of The 48 Group Club, an organization promoting trade and cultural links between the UK and China.

Wang Mingjie and Cecily Liu contributed to this story.

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