China, EU begin new chapter of renewed cooperation

World Today

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, right, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan pose on the steps of the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The leaders of China and France are trying to ramp up efforts against climate change and are calling for a global rethink of investments to make them more planet-friendly. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Chinese president Xi Jinping has wrapped up his European tour with high-level talks in Paris.

Xi met with the leaders of Germany, France and the European Union.

The focus – greater cooperation and strengthening China-EU relations.

CGTN’s Stefan Devries reports from Paris on the importance of this visit.

On the last day of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s European trip, he sat down with France, Germany and the European Commission. All agreed to seek fairer trade rules and to work side by side on solutions over global security and economic issues. But above all, the meeting in Paris was about the future relations and challenges between China and the European Union.

“We want to be able to move ahead with the construction of a renewed multilateralism. We have differences. Of course, the exercise of power in human history is not without rivalries. None of us are naive, but we respect China and we are committed to dialogue and cooperation,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

The Chinese president stressed the importance of mutual trust in the relations between his country and Europe.

“For today’s China-EU relationship, cooperation is a defined feature, even though there are differences or competition to some extent. Such competition is constructive and cooperation always outweighs competition… We cannot let mutual suspicion get the better of us, and we must not always have to be guarded against each other,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said.

One project that could benefit from closer cooperation between China and Europe is the Belt and Road Initiative. Although, European countries are still reluctant to join the initiative, some are considering it.

“An active European role. Germany wants to participate in the One Belt, One Road initiative, the Silk Road. I believe this is a very important project. We, as Europeans, want to play an active part and that must lead to a certain reciprocity,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

So, in spite of all their differences, the European Union and China are now ready to confront the changing world together, and that in itself means a remarkable new chapter in the relations.

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