Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, delivers a keynote speech at the Amfori Conference on May 7, 2018. (Photo: Zheng Bin and Fang Yingxin)
Brussels (People's Daily) - “China and the EU have a similar philosophy on sustainable development,” said Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, and Jyrki Katainen, vice president of the European Commission, were both in agreement at the annual Amfori Conference, a cooperation between the EU and China on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Monday.
During his address, Zhang emphasized that China and the EU have made great efforts to conserve the environment and reconcile environmental protection with economic growth and social development.
“The EU Sustainable Development Strategy adopted in 2001 recognizes that in the long term, economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection must go hand in hand. China is linking the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with domestic strategies,” said Zhang while emphasizing how China has published a national plan to implement the SDGs by translating each target into a specific task.
Zhang said that sustainable development is a joint responsibility that requires wide contribution. For years the EU has always been a major player in global cooperation for sustainable development, making great contributions technologically and financially.
China is also an active contributor to the development of international cooperation, especially in its South-South efforts, Zhang noted.
Jyrki Katainen, vice president of the European Commission addresses the Amfori Conference on May 7, 2018. (Photo: Zheng Bin and Fang Yingxin)
Katainen said he highly appreciated China’s support of third-world countries and stressed that China is particularly strong in Asia notably through its Belt and Road initiative.
Zhang introduced key ideas designed to bolster future joint efforts with the EU in advancing global sustainable development.
Primary issues, such as implementing advanced cooperation methods and honoring multilateral agreements to ensure recovery efforts within the global arena, were at the top of the list.
Zhang also stressed the importance of utilizing creative thought when searching for new areas of cooperation, and concluded with the idea that synergy among both strategies would help create an environmentally conscious Belt and Road initiative.
China and the EU are key partners in the advancement of SDGs, both through their respective actions and policies at home, and also in their efforts abroad on the global stage, Zhang noted.
Katainen stressed that both China and the EU can and should work together to make a positive contribution by supporting an open, rules-based and fair world order.
The Amfori Conference: cooperation between the EU and China on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (Photo: Zheng Bin and Fang Yingxin)
“We must also develop our bilateral cooperation on SDGs as well as a circular economy.”
Attendees from EU institutions, think tanks, NGOs and business community leaders joined discussion panels afterwards addressing the role of trade and investment in sustainable development, and the prospects for cooperation between China and the EU in tackling climate change and energy issues.