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China-EU meeting to enhance ties

Date: 2020-06-22
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China-EU meeting to enhance ties


As the 22nd China-European Union leaders' meeting is set to be held via videoconference on Monday, observers said the two major global players could use the first official meeting between Chinese leaders and the new EU leadership to forge an even closer relationship amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

President Xi Jinping is to meet with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen through video link. Premier Li Keqiang will co-chair the virtual meeting with Michel and von der Leyen.

 

The meeting, which was scheduled to be held in Beijing in March but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, comes as China and the EU commemorate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year. It also takes place amid intensive communication and cooperation between China and EU members since the novel coronavirus epidemic started.

 

Xi has been maintaining good communication with leaders of European countries through telephone talks or correspondence over the past months.

 

In a telephone conversation on June 3 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country will take over the EU's rotating presidency in the second half of this year, Xi reaffirmed China's commitment to stepping up the planned political agenda it has with Germany and the EU.

 

He said China stands ready to strengthen strategic cooperation with the EU in upholding multilateralism, tackling global challenges and providing certainty to an uncertain world, and taking the relationship to new levels. Xi also expressed similar views in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on June 5.

 

Feng Zhongping, vice-president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the intensive interaction between China and the EU has sent an important message that cooperation remains the overarching principle in their ties despite differences.

 

This message is crucially important not only to bilateral relations, but also to the recovery of the world economy in the post-COVID-19 period, Feng said.

 

The pandemic has brought China and Europe closer together, which has been demonstrated by the mutual support and aid between China and the EU and its members. They are stepping up cooperation on diagnostics, treatment, pharmaceuticals and vaccine development, as well as regular exchanges of information and expertise.

 

China recently launched a fast-track service for personnel exchanges with Germany and several other countries to facilitate business cooperation and the reopening of economic activity and to ensure industrial and supply chains remain secure and stable.


 


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