Cooperation between China, Germany lays basis for relationship
Published: Apr 28, 2021 07:17 PM
Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

The sixth round of China-Germany inter-governmental consultation was held via video link on Wednesday. Recent phone conversations and video conferences between leaders of both countries offer a political guidance for steady development of China-Germany ties, which is a manifestation of the mutual trust and high-level cooperation between the two economic powers, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

The inter-governmental consultation is expected to provide stabilizing factors for China-EU relationships. On the one hand, the coronavirus pandemic has posed challenges to global economic growths, including China' and Germany's. On the other hand, as the US is busy trying to coerce its allies to confront China after US President Joe Biden resided in the White House, some negative impacts have been transmitted to possibly affect China-EU ties.

The positive conclusion of routine China-Germany dialogues demonstrates that China and Germany have strong willingness to overcome difficulties to keep their cooperation on track. Through the meeting, China and Germany also sent a strong signal to the world that China-EU relationship has a solid foundation and endogenous driving force and will not be impacted by a third party.

As the pandemic keeps spreading in the world, China and EU need urgently to ramp up efforts to tackle the common challenge to our mankind. During this new round of inter-governmental consultation, China and Germany are reported to enhance their coordination to advance post-pandemic cooperation in various sectors.

Admittedly, economic cooperation and trade between China and EU have encountered some challenges. For instance, EU's recent plan to issue draft legislation to tackle state-backed foreign buyers is widely seen by Western media outlets as a move targeting Chinese state-owned companies.

Generally, some Western countries have increased political meddling of economic issues in recent years. While this is also natural changes related to economic cycles and dramatic changes on the world arena, the open and inclusive economic cooperation should not be undermined.

There may still be disagreements on this issue among different member states within the EU, but it should be noted that no matter what laws and regulations the EU adopts, they should not deliberately target a certain country. This violates a rule called non-discrimination, a basic principle of international economic cooperation and trade. As one of the most open markets in the world, the EU should maintain its openness.

Despite negative changes and uncertainty, cooperation is still the cornerstone of China-EU relationship. It's unwise for the EU to be hijacked by extreme anti-China forces or fall to a few countries' geopolitical calculation. 

European enterprises will continue to be optimistic about China's huge market, and China will also continue to keep its market open to EU and other investors. China's security regulator has reportedly received an application from France's BNP Paribas to set up a securities company in China, which is a latest proof of China's commitment to continue to open its market.

The achievements China and EU have made in their economic cooperation are notable. It's necessary for China and EU to extend cooperation so that both sides could reap greater benefits.

The author is director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies.