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China, Europe Build New Model of Relations in 2015
Should the beneficial momentum of Sino-EU relations be continued in the long run? Are these kinds of relations temporary or sustainable?
By Feng Zhongping | Web Exclusive


With the escalation of tension in the Middle East and the Ukrainian crisis, the strategic landscape of the international community is undergoing a huge transformation during which relations among the major countries in the world has garnered great attention.

China and Europe are on a fast track to mutual cooperation considering the momentum of bilateral ties incorporating China, the European Union (EU), EU member countries and the sub regions.

Of course, the acceleration of these mutually beneficial relations between China and Europe is not an odd coincidence.

The development of bilateral ties has been expanded and explored based on the commonalities of interest between either of the two parties and their economic cooperation has been deepened in the process. The EU has been the top trade partner to China for 10 consecutive years. Meanwhile, China has also secured a position as the second largest partner of trade to the EU. Moreover, Chinese investment in the EU has been soaring in recent years, contributing to a balance of either side's economic structure. Statistics show that Europe has been a major destination of Chinese capital in the past few years and the investments are expected to continue to increase.

The constant expansion of economic cooperation between China and Europe has undoubtedly laid a solid foundation for future bilateral ties. Nevertheless, the rapid development of Sino-EU relations is probably a result of the zero confrontation policy regarding geopolitics and strategic interests.

Should the beneficial momentum of Sino-EU relations be continued in the long run? Are these kinds of relations temporary or sustainable?

The answer of the question should be the One Belt and One Road initiative proposed by China which dovetails with the strategic development of Europe.

The connection has, therefore, extended a new, impressive and sustainable means to maintain the momentum of bilateral ties as it is highlighted as a factor which has led to the reciprocal treatment of either side engaged in constructing a new model of major country relations in the world.

Additionally, as two major forces in the international community, the constant enhancement of bilateral cooperation between China and Europe has undoubtedly led to an unprecedented prospect for the construction of a new model of major country relations.

The interaction among the world's leaders, including the "extraordinary visit" of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Britain, the attendance of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Brussels for the 17th China-EU leaders' Meeting, and his visit to France and the Leaders' Meeting of China and Central and Eastern Europe, dubbed the "one plus sixteen" mechanism, with China for the first time as the host country, provided precious opportunities for the high-ranking officials to sketch out blueprints for new and continued cooperation.

The discussion, which was mostly accentuated by the central European decision makers, was aimed at integrating the "One Belt and One Road" initiative with the development of Europe so that new opportunities can be created for bilateral cooperation.

Highlights amid the cooperation between China and Europe in 2015 also include the two parties' efforts to open a third market in other countries. The central aspect of their cooperation relates to the combined advantages of China's manufacturing capacity with Europe's exquisite technology to meet the demands of the third country for reciprocal interests.

The author is vice president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations

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