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Sino-French ties set good example for EU: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-26 19:23


Politicization of economic and trade issues has proved detrimental to all parties, as has the adoption of protectionist approaches. Such practices only make things harder in what is already a testing time and do a disservice to the settlement of differences.

Dialogue and a willingness to overcome challenges together represent the way for economic and trade ties to steadily develop and upgrade further.

Indeed, as far as world peace and global economic development are concerned, better engagement and cooperation between China and the European Union has become increasingly important. That explains why China announced in recent days that it will grant unilateral visa-free travel for holders of ordinary passports from countries including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain during the period from Dec 1, 2023, to Nov 30, 2024.

The move is part of China's further opening-up, showing its resolve to further integrate with the world system by promoting personnel exchanges. With the EU-China summit scheduled for early December, there is the possibility for the visa-free policy to be extended to more EU countries.

Just as Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in his talks with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in Beijing on Friday, China hopes that the EU will work together with China to support and practice multilateralism, and solve the differences that have come to the fore in their relations. Wang also expressed the hope that the EU would maintain its strategic autonomy, and play its role as an important pole in the multipolar world. Working together, China-EU relations can function as a stabilizer for the entire world amid the turbulence caused by uncertainties and volatility.

It is natural for China and the EU countries to have differences. However, these differences should never get in the way of their cooperation and should never become obstacles to the development of friendship between peoples on both sides. As long as China and Europe work together, there will be no confrontation between camps, no division of the world, and no new Cold War, as Wang said.

The development of the China-France relationship sets an example of a shared commitment to building mutual trust and advancing cooperative ties. If the EU as a whole takes a leaf out of the French book it will help promote strengthened ties between China and the EU. That would be a welcome boon for the world at this troubled time.

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