EU-China cooperation of global significance, says German Bundestag vice president

Europaba Big X
Europaba Big X

The summit of Chinese, German and European Union (EU) leaders showed the importance of EU-China cooperation, which is in the interests of both sides and indispensable for addressing global common challenges, said Hans-Peter Friedrich, vice president of German Bundestag, the lower house.

The summit was co-hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen via video link on Monday.

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis should be used, in particular, for the two sides to work together on issues of digitalization, environmental protection and energy security as well as health policy, Friedrich said in an email interview with Xinhua.

“The European Union and China both have an interest in deeper economic, scientific and technological relations,” wrote Friedrich, voicing his belief that EU-China cooperation is in the common interests of both sides.

Prosperity in China as well as in the EU depends on the stability brought by their cooperation, Friedrich said, adding that the EU and China carry special responsibility because they are big beneficiaries of the global trading system.

It is clear that Germany, as an export nation that needs open markets worldwide, should fight protectionism, Friedrich added.

Noting that there are over 80 discussion and exchange formats between Germany and China alone, he said these mechanisms should be used to maintain close dialogue to find mutual solutions for global challenges.

EU-China cooperation is also of global significance, said Friedrich, who believes that the pandemic has made it clear that the topics of health and life science are globally relevant and in which all countries are equally interested.

“The EU will continue to foster cooperation to prevent a new division of the world into closed power systems, because the global challenges that humanity is facing can only be solved by all countries together,” he said.

The maintenance of peace, security and stability on the Eurasian continent is a responsibility that is only conceivable in cooperation with and between the EU and China, said Friedrich, adding that challenges like climate change can only be tackled through global cooperation.

During the meeting, the Chinese and EU leaders announced the official signing of the China-EU agreement on geographical indications, and decided to establish a China-EU High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue and a China-EU High-Level Digital Cooperation Dialogue, and to forge China-EU green and digital partnerships.

“The geographical indications of food for the protection of brands and heritage are a great step towards a level playing field of economic markets. Whether it is Bavarian beer sold on Chinese markets or Chinese regional products sold in Germany — they should have equal protection of brands and heritage,” Friedrich said.

“Also, the high-level dialogue mechanisms for climate and digitalization are encouraging signs: with respect for each other’s differences, we can find fields and ways of cooperation,” he added.

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