As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has freshly wrapped up his Europe tour, China and the European Union have not only made substantial progress on cooperation during the visit, but also outlined a long-term cooperative direction for bilateral relationship.
The significance of China-EU relations was reflected by the two sides' decision to integrate their respective development plans, work together to explore third-party markets and enhance coordination in international governance.
It was exactly the right time to see the alignment of the synergies of China's "Belt and Road" initiative with the Investment Plan for Europe proposed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Nowadays both China and Europe faced common challenges, as Chinese economy now had entered a new state of "new normal," while shifting gear from high-speed to medium-to-high speed growth, and the impacts of Greece's debt crisis were still lingering in Europe which faced pressure of stimulating growth and creating jobs.
Therefore, the EU side now needs investment to inject vigor into its growth, and China needs to explore new growth sources such as innovation. To further China-EU cooperation will create broad common interests, and EU's agenda for jobs, growth and competitiveness will stand to benefit from the "new normal" of Chinese economy.
Moreover, the two development plans had common investment priorities, which would be infrastructure construction and development of interconnection.
China-EU partnership now also enjoys visionary prospects and pragmatic cooperative achievements. After 40 years of development, China-EU relations have become more and more mature.
The two sides so far had high-level dialogue mechanism of the leaders' meeting, and also had three pillars of the annual High Level Strategic Dialogue, the the annual High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue,and the bi-annual High Level People-to-People Dialogue.
In the past 40 years, bilateral trade and economic ties have also witnessed rapid progress. The EU has been China's biggest trade partner for 11 years in a row, and China has been the EU's second largest for 12 consecutive years. Last year two-way trade surpassed 600 billion U.S. dollars. Bilateral people-to-people exchanges have also yielded fruitful results.
Besides, the closer China-EU ties will benefit the world. During his five-day trip to Europe, Li on several occasions called for strengthened cooperation in exploring third-party markets. The proposals will not only meet the need of the third-party countries, but also facilitate the export of the developed countries and drive China's manufacturing industry to improve and restructure itself.
During Li's visit ,China and the EU also enhanced their coordination in global issues. Following the China-EU Leaders' Meeting, the two sides pledged in a joint statement to deepen practical cooperation in the uphill battle against climate change.
After 40 years of diplomatic ties, China and EU have moved closer and closer to each other. Although they will inevitably encounter differences during the cooperation process, no one can deny that China and the EU can accomplish much by working together to plan for the future.