Expert: China-EU summit boosts confidence in global economy
28 Jun 2020


The 22nd China-EU leaders' meeting is being held online this year because of COVID-19. The two sides will review China-EU ties over the last year and negotiations on a China-EU investment pact are also high on the agenda. 


The year 2020 also marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the EU. 


Yang Hangjun, a professor in the School of International Trade and Economics at the University of International Business and Economics, said the summit will bring some certainty in an uncertain time.


"First of all, China and Europe should work more closely to fight against the virus, join the support for WHO, and cooperate to speed up the vaccine and medicine development," Yang said.


Second, China and Europe should work together to promote multilateralism, free trade, globalization, and to improve public health governance, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the professor added.


Third, China and Europe also have a lot of room for cooperation in projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative, Yang said.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, infrastructure along the Belt and Road Initiative has been playing an increasingly important part in moving goods across continents. 


A total of 979 trips were made during the period, and 88,000 TEUs or 20-foot equivalent units were transported between the two regions, according to the China State Railway Group. 


Data showed that China-Europe trade has been in a range of about 13 to 14 percent of China's total trade volume since 2013, ranked number two only behind the U.S.


Professor Yang told CGTN that Europe surpassed the U.S. to become the largest trading partner with China last year. Similarly, China has been Europe's second-largest trading partner for more than 10 years in a row.


"The COVID-19 crisis has clearly highlighted the stronger cooperation between China and Europe will benefit both sides and highlight the stronger cooperation and the economy," Yang said, adding that he is optimistic that the bilateral investment treaty will be signed this year.


Brussels and Beijing are in their 30th round of negotiations over an agreement that will govern market access, fair business practices, trade, and green investments. 


Analysts said the China-EU leaders' summit will likely ease tensions between the two sides over the coronavirus pandemic and the Hong Kong issue. 


Yang believed the cooperation and consensus between China and Europe are greater than the competition and difference. And the summit will inject much-needed confidence in the global fight against the virus.


Source: CGTN