China, EU jointly present a New Year gift to the world: Global Times editorial
Published: Dec 30, 2020 11:16 PM

Photo: VCG

Negotiations on the China-EU bilateral investment treaty have been completed as scheduled. The leaders of the two sides jointly made the announcement when they held a conference via video link on Wednesday. This is a major event between China and the EU. It is also a piece of stimulating news for a world still plagued by the ravaging pandemic. This is a future-oriented major decision. Mankind will not always be caught in the pandemic. We will eventually get through it.

Talks on the China-EU investment treaty had been going on for seven years and there had been more than 30 rounds of negotiations. It is conceivable that there are many difficulties. However, the two sides finally completed the negotiations. This proves a fact: As long as the two sides are sincere in wanting to strengthen reciprocal cooperation, they can overcome any differences. Affirming and promoting the fact is of great significance to the world today, because in many fields, we are often at the crossroads of whether to compromise and achieve a plan, or to violently confront each other. 

Some Westerners like to discuss which side makes more concessions in an agreement, and whether their own requirements have been met. In fact, as long as an agreement is reached through equal negotiation, it cannot be a unilateral victory. Win-win cooperation is the basic logic in the era of globalization. The China-EU investment treaty will not deviate from such logic.

Those seemingly profound comments about zero-sum games are often grandstanding with a very narrow mind-set. They seriously lack strategic understanding of the China-EU investment treaty. In the current Western public opinion field, nationalist agitation and high-profile ideology are popular, but they are definitely shoddy outcomes born of national interests.

China and the EU have jointly promoted the final negotiations on this far-reaching investment treaty, which shows that rationality has not disappeared in a public opinion field rife with radical emotions. Rationality has always been silent, but it is still solid and will play an essential role at critical moments. There is no reason for humanity to be depressed or to give up.

There is still a lot of cooperation between China and the EU, and China also has bilateral investment agreements with many European countries. But disputes occur from time to time and they interact with the turbulence of the general environment. When the China-EU investment treaty is finally signed, the two sides' mutual investment will operate on the track of laws and regulations. The world is already somewhat messy and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused even greater chaos. Both China and the EU are large economies, and the two sides' latest achievement will inject a kind of certainty into this uncertain world.

We must move forward. But China and the EU cannot go too far by relying merely on trade alone, not to mention that there are still many ideological and other factors that will create turbulence. With a stable investment treaty, the two sides will open new rooms for cooperation and upgrade the driving force of their cooperation. An investment treaty has been the only way to deepen China-EU cooperation. The negotiations have ended at the end of 2020, which is a portrayal of the two sides' common strategic courage. 

International relations in 2020 are generally tense, and there have been disputes between China and the EU. The result of the negotiations at the end of the year has made people think: What is the essence of China-EU relations? There is too much chatter about geopolitics and values, but what the public cares about the most is peaceful development. Obviously, what promotes peaceful development is cooperation, not confrontation. 

The China-EU bilateral investment treaty echoes this theme. Thus it has arrived as scheduled. It is a New Year gift from China and the EU to the whole world.