World Insights: China-Germany-France virtual summit signals "desire for closer collaboration" -- European experts, media

2021-07-06 16:18

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BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The virtual summit that Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday held with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing aimed to "serve to seek common ground," and "signals a desire for closer collaboration," European experts and media have said.

Noting the persisting severe situation of COVID-19 globally and the uncertain prospects of economic recovery, Xi said the world more than ever needs mutual respect and close collaboration, rather than suspicion, antagonism or zero-sum game.

Carl Fey, a professor of international business at Aalto University School of Business in Finland, said that "It is good that this conversation took place as I believe it signals a desire for closer collaboration despite some recent tensions."

"Personally, I believe that there are great possibilities for additional collaboration between the EU (European Union) and China as in many areas they have complementary strengths," he said.

The professor also expressed his hope that China and Europe will have more and closer cooperation moving forward. "Since tensions have been higher than normal in recent years between China and the United States, I thought this time period would be a great opportunity for Europe to get closer to China," he added.

An in-depth article published by Spanish newspaper El Pais late on Monday said that the meeting was to "serve to seek common ground after weeks of tensions and to set an agenda for cooperation without ignoring the issues that separate them."

German News Agency DPA quoted a German government's spokesperson as saying that the video conference focused on EU-China relations, international trade, climate protection and biodiversity, as well as cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, global vaccine supply, and other international and regional issues.

Regarding trade and investment between the EU and China, Philippe Monnier, an international business executive and former executive director of Greater Geneva Berne Area's Economic Development Agency, said significant potential for improvement still remains.

Strengthened mutual trust is certainly one of the keys to moving this forward, Monnier told Xinhua following the virtual summit. "In this sense, direct contact between the three leaders will certainly have a positive impact."

Indeed, quite naturally, good relations between the leaders have tangible effects on the companies and the citizens of the countries concerned, he noted.

Guo Jie, principal professor of finance at Durham University in Britain, said maintaining reciprocal cooperation between China and Europe, treating enterprises of all countries equally and avoiding trade barriers will bring important development opportunities for all parties, enhance global stability and greatly help the world's economic recovery.

He also mentioned that as Africa has the biggest difficulties in fighting the pandemic and achieving economic recovery, China's generous assistance will greatly contribute to global efforts in fighting the pandemic, protecting human health and putting the global economy on the right track.

During the meeting, Xi said China is ready to work with Europe to ensure positive outcomes at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Xi's statement reflects the importance China attaches to the global ecological environment, its determination to actively work to promote global climate governance and strengthen climate cooperation, Guo said, adding that it shows the sense of responsibility of a great power, which injects strong positive energy into the global process of combating climate change.

During the meeting, French President Macron said France is committed to promoting cooperation with China in a practical manner, supports the conclusion of the EU-China investment agreement and the strengthening of cultural exchanges, and welcomes Chinese companies to invest in France.

For her part, German Chancellor Merkel said it is very important for the leaders of Germany, France and China to maintain exchanges, and that Germany stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China on promoting the fair production and distribution of vaccines, and on restoring personnel and trade exchanges.
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