China-France-Germany leaders' video summit releases three signals
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Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a video summit with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing, capital of China, April 16, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a video summit with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday. The leaders of the three countries exchanged in-depth views on cooperation in coping with climate change, China-Europe relations, anti-pandemic cooperation, and major international and regional issues. This video call signaled three things worthy of note. 

First, this summit once again showed China's resolution in implementing its new development philosophy and building a clean and beautiful world.

In this summit, President Xi reaffirmed China's solemn promise on climate change. He said, "China, as the world's largest developing country, will complete the world's most dramatic reduction in carbon emission intensity, and realize carbon neutrality from peak carbon in the shortest time in global history." "This will undoubtedly be a tough battle." "We will always keep our word…" These convincing words once again demonstrated China's sincere promise and remarkable actions.

At the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2020, Xi announced that China would strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. This is a strategic policy which conforms to the requirements of sustainable development and the responsibility of building a community of shared future for mankind. Compared with many developed countries, China has decades less time to get to carbon neutrality from peak carbon. Taking on such a tough task shows China is assuming the responsibility of a major country.

China has taken concrete actions on global climate governance. From Kristalina Georgieva, who is the managing director of the IMF, to Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, many sides including international think tanks and media have highly praised China's achievements in green development and its contributions to cope with climate change. In this summit, French and German leaders actively responded to China's policy announcement and praised its responsibility, which presented a broad future of cooperation between China and Europe in addressing climate change.

Second, this summit once again pointed out the direction for advancing China-Europe relations from a strategic height.

For some time, there has been external interference and distraction in China-Europe relations. Xi said, "China-Europe relations are faced with both new opportunities for development and various challenges. We should firmly conform to the general direction and principle of China-Europe relations from a strategic height." The so-called general direction and principles here include mutually respecting each other, seeking common ground while putting aside differences, seeking harmony without uniformity, constantly enhancing mutual understanding and faith, enlarging mutual benefits in cooperation, and solving difficulties in development.

China and Europe are comprehensive strategic partners, and there is no conflict of fundamental interests between the two sides. They have far more areas of cooperation than competition, and much more common understandings than differences. Therefore, Europe should continue to regard China as its opportunity rather than challenge and insist that the two sides are partners rather than competitors. The best choice for the two sides and the world is to keep the continuity and stability of China-Europe relations and cope with instability and various global problems together.

Third, this summit once again demonstrated important opportunities to all sides brought by pragmatic China-Europe cooperation.

In this summit, both French and German leaders focused their attention on the opportunities brought by China. German Chancellor Merkel said, "It is good news for the world that China's economy has recovered its growth first. Germany values the opportunities that the implementation of China's 14th Five-Year Plan brings to Germany-China and Europe-China cooperation." French President Macron said, "France is willing to work with China to promote the further progress of France-China and Europe-China economic relations."

Against the background of the pandemic's outbreak, China became the largest trade partner of the EU, which showed the great resilience of the pragmatic cooperation between China and Germany, China and France, as well as China and Europe. According to German media, Germany's exports was boosted by surging trade with China and now are gradually approaching the level before the pandemic. In addition, France-China exports are dramatically increasing, and China has become the largest cosmetics products market for France. In March 2021, a China-EU agreement on geographical indications comes into effect, which will provide new impetus for the development of China-EU economic and trade cooperation and boost confidence in the global economic recovery.

As a European saying goes, "A person's effort is additive effect, A team effort is the multiplication effect." If China-EU cooperation can maintain stability and ensure smooth sailing, it must bring greener growth and more good news to the global development.

(Translated by He Jinying; Source: Xinhua)