BEIJING — Amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming 22nd China-EU leaders’ meeting on Monday is expected to boost much-needed confidence in the global fight against the virus and offer more certainty in a time of unprecedented instability.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic relations, and with cooperation and consensus always greater than competition and difference, China and EU have proven themselves to be long-term, comprehensive strategic partners.
Since the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, leaders from both sides have maintained close communication and coordination via phone calls, video-conferences and other means.
The frequent exchanges are proof of deep political mutual trust and close strategic coordination between the two sides, which have laid the groundwork for concrete cooperation to tide over the health crisis confronting the world.
The mutual support between China and Europe has set an example for the global epidemic battle.
When the epidemic broke out in China, the EU and several European countries expressed support for China and sent over urgently needed supplies. When the COVID-19 outbreak began in Europe in March, China promptly sent protective supplies and medical teams to Europe.
Following this momentum, Monday’s meeting is expected to promote cooperation in the battle against the novel coronavirus in such fields as expertise sharing, as well as vaccine and medicine development.
As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a heavy toll on the world, closer cooperation between China and the EU will inject more confidence into reviving the global economy.
The past few years have witnessed the rise of protectionism and its threat to derail the world economy even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The epidemic has unfortunately generated some talk about “decoupling.”
As both China and the EU remain firm supporters of an open world economy, a joint declaration by China and the EU to revive their economies will serve as an example for others to follow.
The upcoming China-EU summit also comes at a time when the leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the global fight against COVID-19 has been undermined by U.S. withdrawal from the UN agency.
No country is immune to the epidemic, and global cooperation is the only solution to the current health crisis facing humanity.
In the fight against COVID-19, China and the EU have clearly expressed support for the WHO’s leading role. The two are staunch advocates of improving the global health system and remain a force against unilateralism.
For forty-five years, a healthy China-EU partnership has been an essential anchor for world stability and development. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has posed tremendous uncertainty, it is more important than ever to keep the China-EU relationship solid. The world depends on it.