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Guest Opinion: Through the mist of “de-risking,” a wide road of cooperation is always here for EU, China

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People stand in front of the Euro sculpture in Frankfurt, Germany. (File Photo/Xinhua/Shan Weiyi)

China is not a “systemic rival” for the EU, their common interests far outweigh their differences. In the context of China-EU relations, the two sides should be characterized rightly as partners. “De-risking” does nothing helpful to an independent EU.

Since its first appearance during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in early 2023, “de-risking” has become a keyword in the EU’s policies towards China. However, people from the EU strategic community have become significantly more vocal about the drawbacks of “de-risking.” Several well-known think tanks and media outlets have published reports and articles explaining that an obsession with “de-risking” fails to achieve “economic security” and undermines EU interests.

First, “de-risking” weakens the competitiveness of the EU industries. The European Center for International Political Economy believes that the EU’s economic and trade policy tools and import restrictions, as well as excessive intervention and strengthened regulation of enterprise production, trade and investment at the micro level, will suppress industrial capacity and efficiency within the EU. Project Syndicate predicts that artificial intelligence and net-zero industry acts will significantly increase start-up business costs, reduce investment confidence and hinder the EU from becoming an international industrial leader.

Second, “de-risking” threatens to break up the EU common market. The German Marshall Fund warns that EU member states can only adopt alternative measures to the EU’s restrictive trade rules, leading to stagnation or even regression of regulatory cooperation in the common market. The London School of Economics and Political Science sees risks to European unity from growing dissension among member states, as well as between individual states and the European Commission.

A China-Europe freight train, which set out from Duisburg, Germany, carrying exhibits for the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) arrives in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 11, 2023. (Xinhua/Ding Ting) Finally, “de-risking” does nothing helpful to an independent EU. The Economist observes that since EU companies are deeply embedded in global production and distribution networks, strengthening interdependence with other economies would help enhance their independence. Promoting “partial decoupling” under the pretext of “economic security” completely contradicts it. The Brussels-based economic think tank Bruegel advises the EU not to launch anti-dumping investigations against Chinese solar panels, as the EU urgently needs equipment for solar power plants and energy storage to prepare for the vast energy import risk. Pricy natural gas imports from the United States will only increase the dependence.

At the China Development Forum 2024, Ola Kalleniushe, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, expressed his opposition to tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle imports. “We have been investing in China for more than 20 years, and we will continue to do so. We need to keep trade relations open and vibrant for a win-win result in terms of economic growth.” That is true. Reasons lie in the facts.

China is not a “systemic rival” for the EU. In fact, China and Europe do not have clashing fundamental interests between them or geopolitical and strategic conflicts. Their common interests far outweigh their differences. In the context of China-EU relations, the two sides should be characterized rightly as partners.

Over the past 20 years, trade volume between China and the EU has increased sixfold, and bilateral investment has increased more than fivefold. According to a new report by The Conference Board, over 98 percent of European companies in China are very willing to stay. EU officials have admitted that the success of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy cannot be achieved without the infrastructure, technology, and materials China can offer. Since the beginning of this year, the EU’s rational perception of China and willingness to cooperate have both strengthened as exchanges between the two sides have increased at all levels.

This aerial photo taken on July 10, 2023 shows OOCL PIRAEUS, one of the largest container vessels in the world, arriving at Piraeus port, Greece. (Xinhua) Cooperation with China helps the EU enhance its ability to fend off risks. The market should determine the supply chain, while political intervention will create distractions. According to the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, 59 percent of surveyed companies consider China among the top three investment destinations. The German Chamber of Commerce in China reports that 91 percent of its member companies will continue to operate in the Chinese market, and more than half plan to increase investment in the next two years.

A cool head can lead the way through the mist. China’s policy consistency and stable economic growth have proven it is a trustworthy partner and a stable force that will help the EU pursue strategic autonomy. Striding shoulder to shoulder, China and the EU will advance with a green light at every crossing.

Editor’s note: The author is a commentator on international affairs, writing regularly for Xinhua News and publishing as it is from Xinhua News Agency. He can be reached at xinping604@gmail.com. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Maldives News Network or Xinhua News Agency.

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China: Will advance cooperation with Maldives while respecting its sovereignty

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Bater, Vice Chairman of the 14th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) the political advisory board in the People’s Republic of China, has affirmed that Chinese government will respect and support Maldives’ sovereignty while advancing cooperation between the two nations.

Bater, who is an official visit to the Maldives, paid a courtesy call on President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu Thursday morning at the President’s Office.

During the meeting, Bater conveyed warm greetings from Chinese President and congratulated President Muizzu on ruling PNC’s victorious supermajority in the parliamentary elections.

He also spoke regarding the historic relations between Maldives and China, and in this trajectory, reiterated that the Chinese government respects and supports the Maldives’ sovereignty and promotes mutual respect while advancing cooperation between the two nations.

Bater said President Xi’s state visit to the Maldives in 2014 and President Muizzu’s recent state visit to China have significantly contributed to the advancement of cooperation and friendly relations between the two countries.

Speaking at the meeting, President Muizzu emphasized the cordial relationship between the Maldives and China and expressed looking forward to strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries.

Referring to his state visit to China, the President also extended gratitude for the opportunity.

President Muizzu and Beter concluded the meeting by expressing their eagerness to work closely on future collaborations.

Bater arrived in the Maldives on a three-day official visit on Tuesday evening.

He was appointed vice chairperson of CPPCC in 2018, and also serves as a member of Central Committee of ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

CPPCC, comprising of delegates from CCP and its people’s organizations, political parties and independent members, advises and puts proposals for political and social issues to government bodies. It, however, lacks any real legislative power.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Minister Shiyam: MIFCO lacks capacity to purchase yellowfin tuna this year

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Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam, on Wednesday, said the state’s fisheries company, MIFCO, lacks the capacity to purchase yellowfin tuna from yellowfin tuna fishermen this year.

Local fishermen staged a protest at sea on Wednesday over the delays in the disbursement of payment for the fish purchased from them. The protest, organized by the Bodu Kanneli Masveringe Union (BKMU) – a trade Union of yellowfin tuna fishermen – initially began at Hulhumale’ jetty and later moved to Male’ lagoon.

Minister Shiyam visited the protest site and addressed the fishermen during which he said MIFCO currently lacks the capacity to purchase yellowfin tuna from yellowfin tuna fishermen. Nevertheless, he affirmed the administration’s commitment to purchase yellowfin tuna as pledged by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

“We are undertaking efforts to strengthen MIFCO, and we will get it done,” he added.

Speaking further, Minister Shiyam underscored the President’s wishes to fulfill his electoral pledges in the early years of his electoral term.

“Please know that in these seven months, we have been faring through serious financial difficulties. Nevertheless, we are working,” he stressed.

The Minister also noted that the government wishes to proceed with matters following consultations with stakeholders.

He also addressed one of the biggest concerns of fishermen at present; the government’s plans to allow commercial longline fishing.

He assured that commercial longline fishing will not be allowed as it had been practiced previously in the Maldives, adding the plans will be implemented in a manner that the interests of the yellowfin tuna fishermen, who will strongly be impacted by longline fishing, are protected.

At Wednesday’s protest, participants demanded the government drop its plans to allow commercial longline fishing. They also demanded that MIFCO begin purchasing yellowfin tuna as pledged by the government and the disbursement of payment for pending dues to fishermen.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Over MVR 10 million raised for Palestine as nationwide telethon concludes

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The nationwide telethon, conducted under the slogan “Falastheenaa Eku Dhivehin,” which translates to “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine,” by the Public Service Media (PSM), in partnership with local media has concluded.

Over MVR 10 million was raised for Palestinians with donations from various parties, alongside over USD 31,000.

As part of the telethon, donation boxes have been placed in 13 locations across the Maldivian capital, Male’ City.

The telethon was conducted under the direct instruction of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu who launched the event on Wednesday morning. President Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Ahmed made donations during the launching ceremony.

The ceremony was also attended by senior government officials including cabinet ministers.

Notable donations made during the telethon included MVR 2.1 million from Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), MVR 500,000 from STELCO and MVR 300,000 from STO. Donations were also made by various other government ministries, institutions, companies and private individuals. A local family, ‘Nooran Family’ also donated MVR 50,000.

Israel’s current war on Gaza, which began on October 7, 2023, has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children. It has also reduced much of the Palestinian territory to rubble, displaced the vast majority of residents, and resulted in widespread malnutrition.

Source(s): sun.mv

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