China, EU strengthen ties amid US unilateralism

China, EU strengthen ties amid US unilateralism My Country
China, EU strengthen ties amid US unilateralism My Country

China, EU strengthen ties amid US unilateralism My Country

Discussions between China and EU leaders on Monday come at a critical period as the world faces increased unilateralism due to US trade protectionist measures. The talks could not only get the world back on the globalization track but create a solid base for cooperation in 2020, including reaching an early agreement on the China-EU investment treaty, observers said.

During a telephone conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and European Council President Charles Michel, both agreed that strengthening China-EU relations and cooperation would be in the best interests of both sides and the world, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Both leaders stressed the importance of protecting free trade and multilateralism, the report said.

China also hopes to reach a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with EU sooner, Xi said.

“There are many significant schedules for China and the EU next year, and the talk on Monday is like a signal to the world that the two sides are set to make more strategic consensus in the next year,” Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of European Studies told the Global Times on Monday.

BIT talks began in November 2013 and aimed to reach a higher-level of understanding on investment protection and market access based on agreements signed between China and EU member states, information released by the Ministry of Commerce revealed.

At a bilateral forum in April, leaders from both sides determined they will push to reach a “high-level” treaty for next year.

Zhao emphasized the EU needs China amid their slowing economies and rising external pressure from the US, who have launched trade wars with both China and EU member nations.

“They (EU countries) should be fully aware that who is a reliable partner – China, a firm supporter of free trade or the US, which is now pushing a trade protectionism strategy and ignoring all its so-called allies’ interests,” Zhao said, and added, “anyone who is not short-sighted and has no prejudice against China would make a correct choice.”

China, EU strengthen ties amid US unilateralism My Country