"Let us together form the future, and make footsteps on this planet that will benefit our people," said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists (PES), on Wednesday while giving an interview to Chinese media in Beijing.
"The China-EU trade partnership has proven its contribution to both our citizens and workers. Now, we must move ahead and together ensure decent work for all the workers," he said. "I know China has an increasing cooperation with the ILO (International Labor Organization), the United Nations and so have we. The new labor law can act as a signal and guide to Chinese workers as China and the EU help each other progress in this direction."
In face of challenges brought by globalization, Rasmussen argued for the need for globalized governance. "The People's Republic of China is doing a marvelous job. In my mind, China could be even a more important player in United Nations. We have a fundamental belief in China's multilateralism. This is why the UN can help achieve globalized governance," he emphasized.
Peacekeeping missions represent another area in which China and Europe can boost ties, he said, outlining that "in the Middle-East, I think the Chinese peacemakers in Lebanon are doing a fantastic job. I respect that and see that more can be done together as partners in peace."
Turning his attention to the financial market, Rasmussen expressed his fears, calling it "too short term. We need a framework to make it more viable in the long-term and this can be achieved through bilateral investment to obtain resources, innovation and progressive results. We need new rules to shift the financial market into adopting new patterns."
Another issue is that of climate change, upon which Rasmussen pointed out "for the harmonious society, we are very interested in reaching common goals in upcoming years. Europe stands united on climate changes and we invite China to become a strong ally at the upcoming meeting in Paris in December for the next step of the Kyoto Protocol Progress."
Rasmussen could not emphasize enough the importance of education, saying "I am impressed with China's progress in this regard, with people's living standards greatly increasing. Why can't China and Europe unite in calling for more international justice, a fairer distribution of wealth and global governance which will ensure fairness in trade, environment, and the financial market."
When asked about similarities or differences between the "harmonious society" proposed by China and the "balanced development" committed to by the EU, Rasmussen agreed that similarities existed since both stated that every individual should have a place in the society and enjoy decent working conditions in a globalized world. Furthermore, the economic, social and environmental spheres of climate and energy interacted harmoniously. "If we integrate them, we will see good development and renewed inspiration to overcome differences and work together based on mutual respect and understanding. In the modern world, China and EU should be economic partners, not adversaries."
Discussing PES intervention in settling economic disputes between China and the EU, he hoped the PES could help broach a solution which would make rooms for Chinese products and workers and for Europe. "The task of PES is not to correct Peter Mandelson but to envision our own ideas about workers' interests and political visions. We have some ideological differences, but far more in common which unites us than divides us. That is why I am here. I see that this planet can not be better without China and China understands that its interests lie in cooperation with Europe."
About enhancing ties with the Communist Party of China (CPC), Rasmussen said "I certainly hope to develop our cooperation. The CPC and the PES are moving in the same direction. Next year, I propose a seminar in Europe with Chinese intellectuals and political leaders discussing issues of common concern and consider global governance."
"Since Deng Xiaoping decided to construct the market economy, enormous things have happened. Today, I see a practical, innovating and open-minded CPC," he told China.org.cn. "Of course we have differences in our ideological basis but again, there are more things to be positive about."
Rasmussen is leading a delegation from the Party of European Socialists on a seven-day-visit to China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China Central Committee's International Department. He met with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Wang Jiarui, head of the CPPCC International Department on Tuesday.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Li Shen, July 5, 2007)