BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met via video link with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Experts and scholars applauded Xi's remarks on China-European Union (EU) relations and the Ukraine crisis, saying that the meeting has provided strategic guidance for sustained and sound development of the China-EU relationship, while adding stability and positive energy to a turbulent world.
During the meeting, Xi stressed that China and the EU should act as two major forces upholding world peace, and offset uncertainties in the international landscape with the stability of China-EU relations.
The two sides need to take the lead in defending the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and jointly reject the resurrection of rival-bloc mentality and oppose attempts at a new Cold War, with a view to maintaining world peace and stability, Xi said.
Leon Laulusa, executive vice president of the Paris-based ESCP Business School, said China and the EU are "two key players" on the international stage, and that their roles "are therefore essential to ensure world peace and security."
China and the EU have cooperated for many years, especially in the areas of peace, security, prosperity, sustainable development and people-to-people exchanges, said Laulusa.
Frederic Baldan, CEO of Belgian consulting company CEBiz, said Xi's proposal on the development of China-EU relations "meets the interests of the European people" and would benefit the world.
Xi also said that China and the EU should act as two big markets promoting shared development, and deepen economic globalization through open cooperation. China will stay committed to deepening reform and further opening up. China welcomes European business investment and expects the EU to provide a fair, transparent and nondiscriminatory environment for Chinese business investment and development in Europe.
He added that the two sides need to seek greater synergy between their development strategies and explore more complementarity between China's new development philosophy and paradigm and the EU's trade policy for open strategic autonomy.
Bernard Accoyer, former president of the French National Assembly, called himself "a defender of friendship" between the EU and China, noting that the "friendship is essential for progress in any field" regarding China-EU cooperation.
Horst Loechel, a professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, said the EU and China, being each other's important trading partners, should develop their trade ties further "in the benefit of the people and the companies."
"A closer relationship between the EU and China will maintain and perhaps even leverage the economic benefits for Europe and China as well ... it will make a significant contribution to global political and economic stability in difficult times," said Loechel.
During the meeting, the Chinese president underscored that China and the EU should act as two great civilizations promoting human progress, and meet global challenges through solidarity and collaboration.
The two sides need to follow true multilateralism, advocate a vision of global governance featuring the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, continue to spearhead international cooperation on climate change and biodiversity, and work together to defeat COVID-19, he said.
Timo Vuori, director of International Trade and Trade Policy, the Confederation of Finnish Industries, said the virtual meeting "is just one but important milestone in our dialogue which must continue in the future at all levels," adding that the two sides can overcome various challenges they face via "open dialogue and committed common action."
Uros Lipuscek, a Slovenian political scientist, said that "neither the EU nor China as two leading economic partners can progress without increased cooperation on all levels," adding that China and the EU "need a new pragmatic approach" to promote cooperation.
Xi also expounded China's position on the Ukraine issue during the meeting. He said China's position is consistent and clear-cut. China always stands on the side of peace and draws its conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter.
China calls for upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations, acts in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, Xi added.
Xulio Rios, director of the Observatory of Chinese Politics in Spain, said both Europe and China hope the Ukraine crisis can "cease as soon as possible," and they should work together with other members of the international community for a diplomatic solution to the crisis and lay the foundation for a European security architecture. ■