Interview: Leaders' meeting shows importance of EU-China ties, says expert

2020-09-15 12:58

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by Marcela Ganea

BUCHAREST, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The virtual summit of China, Germany and European Union (EU) leaders held Monday was an occasion to gain insight into the prospects of Europe-China relations in the near future, a Romanian expert told Xinhua on Monday.

"This summit may be seen as a sign of the attention the EU pays to Asia, in general, and to China, in particular," said Liviu Muresan, president of the Bucharest-based EURISC think tank.

Muresan has been working with several prestigious Chinese think-tanks such as China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations from Beijing and Shanghai Institutes for International Studies over the last 25 years.

The expert underlined how obvious it is becoming that the EU leadership is working towards a sustainable and comprehensive relationship with China, aiming to cover various domains ranging from economy, politics, technology, health, climate change, to some sensitive issues including human rights.

"In a nutshell, we can consider that today's virtual summit was a success, achieving consensus on geographical indications, speeding up the process of reaching agreement on EU-China investments, and also making progress with a sustainable dialogue on climate, environment and IT related issues," said the EURISC head.

"In a period of unprecedented developments at national and international level, digital diplomacy brought about challenges and opportunities for everybody, including the big international actors," he said.

"One year ago, few people thought that it would be possible to have such high-level meetings taking place without the leaders' negotiating face-to-face," said Muresan.

In his opinion, the pandemic this year has transposed China and other countries in the world in a completely new situation, as they strive to save the lives of tens of millions of people and to set new rules for the functioning of societies and economies.

"A new role is emerging for China," he noted, saying that the EU is increasingly paying attention to China and Asia in general.
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