A Joint Battle
Sino-EU partnership remains strong amid the COVID-19 outbreak
Edited by Li Xiaoyang  ·  2020-02-28  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province has become a global concern and has already had a blanket impact on the Chinese economy and society. Since the year 2020 marks a milestone not only for China’s long-term development but also for the relations between China and the European Union (EU), both sides are working together on the epidemic prevention and control and on turning this year into a fresh start for a decade of common prosperity. 

According to the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) representing more than 900 Chinese businesses in Europe, a series of measures have been taken both by the Chinese Government and European governments to contain the virus. EU institutions, leaders at the EU level and member states have recently been keeping a watchful eye on China, monitoring the situation and taking prompt action to provide aid and assistance. In early February, the EU and its member states delivered 12 tons of much-needed protective equipment to China.  

Many European businesses have taken action to send help to the affected population, especially medical supplies and equipment. Chinese companies based in Europe have also done their part in sending aid to China and put in place strict rules to ensure business continuity and reinforce confidence. 

According to the CCCEU, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak could lead to economic disruptive slowdown, which may bring difficulties in the first half of the year. But the economy will rebound in the third and fourth quarters. For the whole year, China’s economic growth can, cautiously speaking, be maintained.  

China and the EU constitute a market of 1.9 billion consumers, with a growing middle class expected to surpass 1 billion this decade. As the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to be short term, it will neither affect the long-term commitment of Chinese enterprises in Europe, nor the relationships they have built in Europe, it said. 

Safeguarding the interdependence between China and the EU is key to the future of their economic interaction in the troubled times. No epidemic emergency should have long-lasting effects on a strategic partnership forged over decades. To achieve the common prosperity, efforts are needed to recognize the contributions of Chinese enterprises investing in the EU, and to maintain mutual trust between European and Chinese partners. 

Copyedited by Madhusudan Chaubey  

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