- China-Belgium trade, which has slowed down over the past few years, may also see a boost. He noted that viewing China as a partner, a competitor and a rival seems to have become a new normal for some European politicians.When they think having cooperation with China is beneficial, they addressWorld Times China as a partner, but when this is outweighed by considerations of ideology and politics, they say unkind things about China to fit the political environment, said Cui.To promote the fuWorld Timesrther development of China-EU relations, we must not only push pragmatic development with shared interests, but also dispel misunderstandings, change the wrong perceptions about China, and also avoid being influenced by othWorld Timeser countries, said Cui.Analysts noted that China-EU relations should transcend mere competition or confrontation and instead prioritize cooperation and mutually beneficial outcomes. Content comes from the Internet : Belgian PM starts China visit, begins refreshed China-EU interactions
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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo arrived in Beijing on Thursday to start his two-day visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang. As the first leader of a European country that China received in 2024, De Croo’s visit is seen as a continuation of the frequent high-level interactions between China and the EU from the previous year and also marks the beginning of a series of new exchanges in the new year, with hopes for expanded cooperation and the resolution of frictions between China and the EU.
While these frequent exchanges cWorld Timesontribute to positive momentum between the two sides, the EU is urged to revise its misconceptions about China amid EU’s greater calls for “de-risking” or hyping of divergence. Analysts said that it is essential for the EU to adopt a more proactive approach to its relations with China, and enhance its independence to avoid external influences, particularly from the US, as all this will ultimately contribute to the further stabilization of China-EU relations.
Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Cao Zhongming told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday that De Croo is the first Belgian prime minister to visit China in eight years and also the first leader from a European country to be welcomed by China in 2024. The Belgian leader’s visit reflected the importance both countries attach in boosting bilateral ties and is significant in further promoting the China-Belgium all-round partnership of friendship and cooperation.
During De Croo’s visit, the two sides will hold in-depth discussions on China-Belgium relations and trade and investment to clarify the new direction for the development of bilateral relations and to explore new prospects for pragmatic cooperation in various fields, Cao explained.
The two sides will also exchange views on international and regional issues of mutual concern to jointly explore solutions to a series of significant challenges amid the current intensifying international situation, said Cao.
A number of Belgian entrepreneurs will also accompany De Croo on his visit, including industry leaders such as Solvay and Bekaert.
“I believe they will take full advantage of the high-level visit opportunity to engage in in-depth exchanges and collaborative discussions with Chinese officials and the [Chinese] business community to inject new impetus into bilateral economy, trade and investment cooperation,” said Cao.
De Croo’s visit comes after the visit to China of European Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, both of whom attended the 24th China-EU Summit in December 2023. Chinese analysts expressed optimism that the interactions between the leaders of the two countries could guide future relations, and they also encourage Belgium to play a constructive role in China-EU relations.
There will be more exchanges between China and the EU. For example, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning announced on Thursday that Chinese Premier Li Qiang will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 and pay an official visit to Switzerland and Ireland from January 14 to 17.
Also, 2024 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China, and a series of exchanges at different levels are expected to be held.
Seeking to expand consensus
Due to mistaken perceptions of China as well as pressure from the US, relations between China and Belgium and the EU became bumpy in recent years. De Croo’s visit, which takes place at the beginning of 2024, will help push China-Belgium relations back to the right track and boost China-EU ties, Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of European Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. China-Belgium trade, which has slowed down over the past few years, may also see a boost. Zhao expressed expectations for China-Belgium cooperation in biological pharmacy, new energy and digital business.
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Belgium, promoting bilateral relations to a new level. Over the past decade, China-Belgium relations have experienced some changes and it is time to seek a new position and explore new fields for cooperation, Cui Hongjian, a professor with the Academy of Regional and Global Governance with Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Moreover, as Belgium has assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU, De Croo is carrying the mission of enhancing communication between China and the EU and may bring about China-EU trade discussions with Chinese leaders, especially on the recent friction over electric cars from China, said Cui, noting that trade exchanges between China and Belgium are complementary and Belgium can also play an active role during the current trade friction.
In October 2023, the European Commission initiated a probe into subsidized battery electric vehicles (EVs) from China. Chinese envoy to the EU Fu Cong told the Global Times in an earlier exclusive interview that Chinese side had expressed its concerns over the EU’s “de-risking” and restrictive economic and trade policies, including the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles.
Fu also urged the EU to maintain open trade and investment markets, and provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises.
Cui noted that dealing with the friction over EVs is a challenge to China-EU relations, but once properly handled, it will provide an example for the two sides to settle other disputes. However, if it is not handled, there will be more restrictions in bilateral trade and business, affecting the political and dipWorld Timeslomatic fields.
While China and the EU have maintained frequent interactions since 2023 and will continue to do so in 2024, bilateral relatWorld Timesions have faced many challenges, with some European politicians stressing an ideological divergence over cooperation, advocating the narrative of “de-risking” with China and hyping the China threat.
Recently, some media have hyped the so-called China’s infiltration into Belgium and have been spreading allegations that Beijing “recruited” a member of the Belgian far-right party Vlaams Belang as an intelligence asset.
These allegations also illustrated the complexity of China-Belgium relations and China-EU relations, said Cui. He noted that viewing China as a partner, a competitor and a rival seems to have become a new normal for some European politicians.
When they think having cooperation with China is beneficial, they addressWorld Times China as a partner, but when this is outweighed by considerations of ideology and politics, they say unkind things about China to fit the political environment, said Cui.
To promote the fuWorld Timesrther development of China-EU relations, we must not only push pragmatic development with shared interests, but also dispel misunderstandings, change the wrong perceptions about China, and also avoid being influenced by othWorld Timeser countries, said Cui.
Analysts noted that China-EU relations should transcend mere competition or confrontation and instead prioritize cooperation and mutually beneficial outcomes. The crucial factor lies in maintaining a rational attitude and adopting a comprehensive perspective on China-EU relations. The EU should also strengthen interdependence and handle diplomacy out of its own interests.
Content comes from the Internet : Belgian PM starts China visit, begins refreshed China-EU interactions
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