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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s New Year Debut Visit to Europe: Stable and Improving Sino-European Relations May Welcome New Opportunities

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During the New Year in the Year of the Loong, another important foreign visit by Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs, is in Europe. After attending the Munich Security Council in Germany and visiting Spain, Wang Yi co-chaired the China-France strategic dialogue with the French side in Paris and had a separate meeting with French President Macron on the sidelines of the strategic talks.
 
During this meeting, Macron said France adhered to « strategic autonomy » and was willing to strengthen coordination with China to safeguard peace and stability in the face of global challenges. In fact, Macron has championed strategic autonomy for the EU – the idea that the bloc should become more powerful on the world stage and operate independently in a wide range of areas, from military operations to industrial policy. He has urged the bloc not to become a “vassal” of the US or get caught up in escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington.
 
Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized the development and importance of China-France relations and put forward « two hopes. »
 
The first is to hope that France will create a fair and just business environment for Chinese firms in France, providing positive, stable and long-term expectations, While China will continue to open its market to France. Previously, the European Union conducted an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric car companies, Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward China’s hope to the French President, indicating that China attaches importance to the incident and does not want this incident to become an obstacle to the upward development of China-France relations, as suggested by observers.
 
The second is to hope that France will continue to play a “constructive role” in the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations and to help act as a “stabilizing force” in the world. In the context that the United States is engaged in camp-based confrontation and attempts to use the EU to target China, France’s independence has far-reaching implications for the development of China-EU relations.
 
As Foreign Minister Wang said, we hope that China-France relations will « uphold the original intention, maintain determination, deepen cooperation, and open up a future. »
 
In fact, before arriving in France, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, where the Russia-Ukraine conflict was the main topic.
 
The Elysee Palace said Macron and Wang discussed the conflict during their meeting and that they shared the same goal of “contributing to peace”, according to broadcaster France 24. According to Macron’s office, the French leader told Wang that he hoped China would “pressure Russia to return to the negotiating table”.
 
 
During the Munich Security Conference, Wang said Beijing’s relations with Russia did not target any third party. Later in a separate meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Wang reaffirmed that China would not supply weapons to either side of the conflict.
 
In Munich, Wang pitched China as a “stabiliser” – not just in conflicts but also on global economic growth, as trade disputes continue to loom over ties between Beijing and Brussels.
 
“I feel that Europe’s rational perception of China is increasing, believing that China’s development is in line with the logic of history and that Europe should not be afraid of it, let alone reject it,” Wang said in an interview transcript his ministry released late on Wednesday (21 February).
 
Wang, who recently visited and met with a host of leaders from Germany, Spain and France, told Europe that in the bloc’s move to de-risk and cut dependence, it should not eliminate cooperation or reduce mutual trust.
 
“Interdependence based on mutual trust is conducive to the complementary advantages of all parties and is conducive to accelerating common development,” he said in the interview with Chinese media.
 
The bloc has reiterated it does not mean to decouple from China.
 
Wang said the European side is positive about strengthening China-European Union exchanges at all levels, and is “very enthusiastic” about deepening practical cooperation.
 
He said Europe hopes for more concrete outcomes from cooperation in economy and trade, energy, green, digital, education and people exchange.
 
“China will continue to make efforts in relaxing market access, benchmarking international trade rules, and clearing up barriers for foreigners to come to China,” Wang said.

Photo: China Chamber of Commerce to the EU

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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