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Why UK, Germany and France compete for co-ops with China?

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

11-05-2015 15:16 BJT

By Mei Zhaorong, China's former ambassador to Germany, Distinguished Chair Researcher at China Institute of International Studies

Recently, Britain, Germany and France are competing for high-level interactions and signed a slew of win-win co-operation agreements with China.


During Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the United Kingdom, Beijing and London agreed to build a new global comprehensive strategic Sino-Britain partnership in the 21st century, and the two sides signed an estimated 63 billion US dollars economic co-operation agreements, opened a sustainable, open and feeding "golden era" for Sino-Britain relations.

Soon afterwards, Germany Chancellor Angel Merkel paid her 8th visit to China, and signed nearly 10 billion euros of commercial contracts with China. Despite Germany getting harassed by the refugees crisis.

Right after Merkel's visit, French President Francois Hollande visited China to "strengthen a comprehensive Sino-France strategic partnership," to work with China for positive achievements during the Paris Climate Summit, which will be held on Nov. 30, and followed by over 20 billion euros orders signed during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to France in July.

It is not a coincidence but mutual interests have brought the three EU countries to economic and political cooperation with China.

European countries have not completely recovered from the global economic crisis and sovereign debt crisis, and facing weak economic recovery and unsolved debt problems. With the euro zone market shrinking, some countries are struggling with high unemployment rates.

Seeking foreign markets and investments have become an important way out. The Asia-Pacific region is transforming into the global economic center, especially China, whose market has a big capacity and huge funding potential.

Despite the western media saying the Chinese economy is weakening, leaders of the British, German and French remain optimistic, they realize that China's deepening reform provides them with a higher level of co-operation opportunities.

Merkel said that she is "confident in China's economic development", while British Prime Minister David Cameron and Treasury Chancellor George Osborne claim London would like to be Beijing's western "best partner" and "strongest supporter."

The opening up policy and internationalization of the Chinese Yuan provide finance co-ops with the three countries. The Belt and Road initiative works well with the European infrastructure development. German 4.0 and China Made 2025 can boost joint co-operations. China-EU could co-work in clean energy for green economy development, and the two-way tourism is expanding to promote people and cultural exchanges and mutual understanding.
For China, strengthening cooperation with European countries can expand exports, and improve its technology and management levels to build a well-off society in an all-round way.

For European countries, cooperation with China would ensure their economic prosperity, social stability and the dominance of the ruling party. It is for the shared interests that Britain, France and Germany have adjusted their policies toward China in different degrees, playing down ideological barriers and making pragmatic co-operation.

Since the comprehensive national power of China has been enhanced, Beijing's speaking out in international affairs is improving. Counting on China for support, European countries have paid more attention to China.

China played a crucial role for the success of the Climate Change Conference in Paris. In order to ease the refugee crisis, Merkel needs China's support for a solution to the Syrian problem.

China also depends on Europe to help deal with major international issues. China will host the Group of 20 Summit in 2016 to promote the China-Europe investment protection agreement, initiate a feasibility study on free trade agreement and reform international financial institutions.

China and Europe should stick together on international issues for mutual benefits and win-win results.

Europe is facing multiple crises, including the ongoing refugee crisis, worsening Europe-Russia relations upon the Ukraine crisis, uncertainty of the UK leaving the EU, potential risk of the Greek sovereignty debt crisis, splittism forces, stagnant integration process of the EU and more.

It is very difficult for the EU to play a vital role. Some European countries need to upgrade the comprehensive strategic partnership with China to highlight their status, which is also in line with China's strategy.

European countries used to prioritize relations within European Union and with the United States. However, the US has damaged the interests of European countries.

The US is monitoring European leaders. European countries paid the bill of hot issues caused by the US. European countries are drifting apart from the US for their own interests.

Ignoring America's objections, London took the lead to join the Asia Infrastructure Invest Bank, while Germany, France and Italy followed suit.

The king of Netherlands also visited China around the same time of the visits of UK, France and Germany. Additionally, some central and eastern European countries will attend the 16+1 summit in Suzhou city of China in Nov. It is expected that new highlights will be created for China-Europe relations.  


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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