China, Europe seek to forge closer interparty ties

By Chen Boyuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 18, 2016
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Delegates from over 30 political parties in 24 European countries and representatives from the European Parliament met in Beijing on Tuesday, May 17 to attend the two-day 5th China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum, an occasion to strengthen interparty relations between China and Europe.

Song Tao, minister of IDCPC, delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 5th China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum on May 17 in Beijing. [Photo by Chen Boyuan /]

Song Tao, minister of IDCPC, delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 5th China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum on May 17 in Beijing. [Photo by Chen Boyuan /]

Current Chinese-European relations are marked by improved quality and enhanced effectiveness, as both sides are actively constructing a partnership for the continuous promotion of peace, growth, reform and civilization, while exploring the most suitable ways to develop.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) put forward ideas for innovative, coordinative, green, open and shared development as well as the "Belt and Road" initiative to achieve common development and prosperity.

These ideas have coincided with those of many European political parties, which have become a shared ground for deepened Chinese-European cooperation, said Song Tao, minister of the International Department of CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), the agency for CPC's international liaison work, on Tuesday.

He said that interparty communication plays an important role in foreign relations, and that the Chinese-European relationship is no exception. "It is a major driving force in pushing forward a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the European Union," said Song, hoping the ties would "underscore strategic communications and promote practical cooperation."

It means that interparty relations capable of addressing ideological and strategic issues – not necessarily concrete projects and contracts – are usually the topics for intergovernmental diplomacy. Once there is amity between political parties of two countries, rapport between the governments will come naturally.

Chinese-European interparty ties seem even more important these days following the European Parliament's overwhelming rejection of China's bid for market economy status. In addition, China now seeks more international support for its stance on the South China Sea issues.

"China and the European Union are major trading partners for each other; therefore, fulfilling international obligations and recognizing China's market economy status will bring new, huge potentials for bilateral trade, and this meets the fundamental interests of both sides," said the IDCPC head.

Song stressed that China resolutely upholds navigational freedom in the South China Sea as stipulated by international laws, but that it also firmly opposes any kinds of hegemony in the same waters. "China is willing to preserve the peace, stability and security of the South China Sea together with all members of the ASEAN."

Sergei Stanishev, president of the Party of European Socialists and former prime minister of Bulgaria, is among the principal political leaders attending the forum. He agreed that China's ideas for development and its proposal of the "Belt and Road" initiative will enhance interconnectivty between Europe and China and will, in turn, benefit all people along the routes.

Stanishev noted that China was the first non-European state to declare its financial contribution to the Juncker Plan, and since the beginning of the year China has been an official member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Several European countries have joined the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Stanishev recognized that China has been "building its own version of a market economy with an active role from the state" over the past two decades, and this model has helped China recover faster and sooner from the global financial crisis than other large economies.

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