BUSINESS Noise cannot hamper sound trade relations between China and EU: experts


Noise cannot hamper sound trade relations between China and EU: experts

16:33, September 18, 2020

A crane transports containers at Erenhot Port in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Sept. 3, 2020. The border port of Erenhot has seen a total of 1,500 China-Europe freight trains passing through this year, local authorities said Friday. (Photo:Xinhua)

China has become the EU's largest trade partner for the first time, latest data show, highlighting China and the EU, as time-weathered strategic partners, are sharing their close economic ties intertwined with each other's industrial chain.

The data also discredits some media reporting that China is facing rising anger over its policies and its behavior including trade, and Chinese experts said the noise will not have any impact on the sound trade relations between the two economies.

The latest statistics from Eurostat show China has become the EU's largest trade partner for the first time, surpassing the US by 5.2 billion euro ($6.16 billion). From January to July, the trade value between China and the EU grew 2.6 percent to 328.7 billion euro amid COVID-19.

China is now the EU's largest source of imports, accounting for 21.9 percent of its total imports, and the third-largest export market with a share of 10.3 percent, Eurostat said.

The numbers came in the backdrop of a virtual summit on Monday in which Chinese, German and EU leaders reaffirmed they will further strengthen cooperation ranging from trade to epidemic control, sending a signal that the parties remain committed to pursuing pragmatic engagement rather than focus on differences, and also inject impetus to global economy.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, China and the EU have held six rounds of formal negotiations this year, and both Chinese and EU leaders have vowed their commitment to speed up the negotiations of the China-EU Bilateral Investment Treaty to achieve the goal of concluding the negotiations within this year.

The two partners have close bilateral networks of production, innovation, trade, investment and finance, and in the past few years, China has taken many measures to open up sectors ranging from manufacturing to services and financial industries, and the sound environment has created better conditions for the China-EU investment cooperation, Xu Hongcai, deputy director of economic policy commission at the China Association of Policy Science, told the Global Times on Friday.

However, there are still some noises popping up, claiming there is rising dissatisfaction with China's policies in Europe.

A report from the New York Times Thursday said China is facing rising anger and frustration in Europe, from trade to human rights, and even Pavel Novotny, the outspoken district mayor in Prague, called the Chinese "impudent, thoughtless, uncouth clowns" and demanded an apology after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rebuked a Czech lawmaker Milos Vystrcil, for visiting Taiwan Province this month.

"It is normal to see that noise as the politicians are using the media to hype the 'China threat' theory, but the actions of the two partners moving forward together are becoming clearer and more stable, and those noises will not stop any cooperation between the two economies," Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of European Studies, told the Global Times on Friday.

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