Growing cooperation the trend

Updated: 2014-03-31 07:30

(China Daily)

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During his trip to Europe, President Xi Jinping has attended the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands and delivered a speech about the Chinese Dream in the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris, France, and he has also visited several European countries with his wife Peng Liyuan.

The trip promises a bright future for relations between China and the EU, relations that won't be clouded by their disagreements on certain issues, says a column in Beijing Youth Daily.

There have been disagreements between China and the European Union over the past decade. Efforts to lift the EU's arms embargo on China have met opposition from some countries citing human rights concerns, and there have been trade frictions over sales of Chinese solar panels in the EU. Leaders of some major EU countries also made moves detrimental to good relations, such as meeting the Dalai Lama, to woo political support from voters.

But China and the EU have worked out ways to strengthen dialogue and overcome their difficulties in order not to curb the general trend of more intimate mutual cooperation. For 10 successive years the EU has been China's biggest trade partner, and the trade volume between the two reached $566.2 billion in 2013, almost 10 percent of the world's total. When Xi visited Duisburg, Germany, a freight train from Chongqing was at the local station, symbolizing the trade achievements between China and Europe through the New Silk Road. China-Europe cooperation is also gradually extending to more fields such as environmental protection and energy.

It's natural for China and the EU to disagree on certain issues but overall they maintain stable strategic ties. Being situated at the two ends of the Eurasian continent, China and the EU have no direct military security problem; their differences on Syria and Ukraine do not involve either's core interests and so will not lead to conflict between them.

Moreover, the two sides are making progress: A settlement has been reached on an anti-dumpling and anti-subsidy case against wine and polysilicon from EU, while the EU has indicated it might draw back from the threat of punitive tariffs on China's telecommunication devices.

As two civilizations with long histories, China and Europe have both realized the importance of their relations and Xi's trip has consolidated confidence in their lasting friendship.