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Financial crisis changes exchanges
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08:24, October 29, 2008

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During the 7th Asia-Europe Summit, the European Union expressed its willingness to cooperate with China on dealing with global challenges including the financial crisis. European Commission President Barroso repeatedly sent that message in all his remarks and speeches in his visit to Beijing for the Summit. Is that message welcome in China?

Prof. Wang Manchuan from the National School of Administration where Mr. Barroso delivered a speech was impressed by his call for cooperation with China. He told People's Daily Online that it means the EU regards China as a power of crucial importance and it hopes that China with its massive forex reserve and big market play a bigger part in the world's efforts on coping with the financial crisis.

He also highlighted that the financial crisis is a morning call of how important it is for China to be prudent enough in adopting western experience in the financial regulation and public administration. Three principles, he noted, should be followed when China consider adopting any foreign experience in institutional designing.

Firstly, China should continue learning good experience from developed countries including the EU members and the US although their practices have proven not to be perfect. China still has a long way to go to have its market economy catch up. Secondly, China needs to develop a perspective of globalization when establishing its own administrative and regulatory systems. Thirdly, China's real situation should always been taken into account in any institutional designing.

Prof. Wang is a Chinese member in the five-year China-EU Public Administration Program, the largest China-EU cooperative project in the public administration. A range of activities, including high-level forums, study visits and training courses have been conducted to promote the mutual understanding between China and EU on the public administration. Some European experience has been adopted in China.

Mr. Sun Liguo, who is studying at the National School of Administration as mayor of Laixi in eastern coastal Shandong Province, was glad to hear Mr. Barroso's clear message of readiness to cooperate with China and his recognition of China's important role in dealing with the financial crisis.

He is particularly impressed by Barroso's call for openness based on the rules agreed by all. From his experience, he feels it is increasingly difficult in doing business with the EU due to the lack of mutual understanding and stringent technical standards of the EU.

The EU used to be largest export market of poultry products from Laixi which is the largest poultry exporter in China. But the EU banned imports of heated poultry products from Shandong in recent years due to the bird's flu. Since then, Japan replaced the EU as the major export market of poultry products from Laixi.

What's more, the financial crisis makes it even more difficult to maintain export growth and attract foreign investment. He was eager to know the attitude of the EU toward China. "Do they want to cooperate with us? If they do, how strong will their willingness be? What trade policy will they have in the future?" He asked before Mr. Barroso's speech at the National School of Administration.

Mr. Sun is very pleased to know that the EU has agreed to lift the ban at the 23rd China-EU Economic and Trade Joint Committee in Beijing at the end of September. He hopes that his city would be able to be in the EU market again.

"As Mr. Barroso said, only openness is not enough. We must have rules acceptable to both of us," he said. "What we want is only normal trade."

By People's Daily Online

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