China, Europe should look to future to strengthen cooperation

08:33, June 23, 2011      

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A "paradox" has dominated the European countries in handling their relations with China. On one hand, they point the finger at China; but on the other hand, they cannot do without China, especially when it comes to economy. From last year's Noble Peace Prize to recent hand wringing over human rights, certain European countries have wantonly accused China.

Meanwhile, they are seeking to conduct dialogue and exchanges with China, hoping to benefit from the economic and trade cooperation. The coexistence of friction and cooperation as well as the conflict between ideals and reality are the special characteristics of China-Europe relations.

There are two main forces affecting Europe's attitude toward China. One force comes from the Europeans' rigid ideology and misconceptions about China, advocating the use of "democracy and human rights" as a tool to tarnish the image of China. The other comes from the need for expanding economic cooperation in an increasingly globalized world and support strengthening pragmatic cooperation with China to serve European interests. Europe often swings from one side to the other under the influence of the two forces.

The two forces have exerted a significant influence over China's relations with European countries since China established diplomatic relations with the European Communities, predecessor to the European Union. Their relations have undergone both ups and downs due to the two forces, but overall there have been more ups than downs. Thanks to China's steadily growing economy, Europe's strong desire for cooperation has outweighed its improper impulse against China and has upgraded the relations between China and Europe from a constructive partnership to a comprehensive partnership and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

New signs have appeared in the China-Europe relations in the aftermath of the international financial crisis. Trapped in economic, political and social crises, Europe has begun a new round of introspection. As a result, more and more Europeans believe that China will play bigger roles in Europe's future development and have called for closer ties with China.

According to a report by France-based Societe Generale, China will likely raise the average annual structural economic growth rate of the euro zone by 0.25 to 0.4 percentage points and create millions of job opportunities from now through 2020. The Financial Times Deutschland directly called China "a savior." How to walk out of the trouble by following the "fast track of China"has become a major realistic subject that Europe should take into account.

In terms of development strategy, "harmonious" phenomena have also emerged in the China-Europe relations. According to China's 12th Five-Year Plan, the country is accelerating the transformation of its economic development mode as well as the strategic adjustments to its economic structure and the "Europe 2020 Strategy" adopted by the European Union aims to push forward structural reforms and achieve sustainable growth. China and Europe coincidently hold similar views about scientific and technological progress, research and development, innovation as well as the improvement of people's livelihood. A growing number of Europeans are aware that the force that binds China and Europe together is far more powerful than what separates them, and so are other aspects from interests to development concepts.

The strong consequential force of China and Europe maintaining progressive development is inextricably linked with China's efforts to promote cooperation between the two sides. China adhered to promoting the comprehensive development of their relations over the years, and that comprehensive relationship covers many fields, such as politics, the economy and culture.

China bought bonds from some European countries in Europe's most difficult times. This is an economic action and also China's strategic trust for Europe's future, which many European allies cannot achieve. China advocates mutual respect and mutual trust between China and Europe and properly handling differences, which is aimed at reducing and even overcoming the component force to form the strongest resultant force.

Leaders of China and European countries had frequent interaction and launched close cooperation when coping with the international financial crisis, which showed the spirit of mutual assistance. The Chinese Premier will visit Hungary, Britain and Germany in late June. This is the fourth time that the Chinese Premier has visited Europe since 2008, and also China's signal of enhancing the cooperation between China and Europe in the future.

China and Europe will walk out of the "paradox" cycle and work together to launch more cooperation and reduce differences. The long-term perspective, transcending differences, building consensus and enhancing cooperation are the requirements of the times regarding relations between China and Europe.

By People's Daily Online

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