Xi Jinping: China ready to advance trade relations with the EU

China’s president Xi Jinping is willing to work closely with the EU and embrace their agreements. In a communication with France’s president Emmanuel Macron last week, he stressed that France’s EU presidency could leverage the relations with China and positively affect transport, among others.

“China and the EU should work together to build the greatest common ground and push for a new development of China-EU relations. China is ready to work with France to make a success of the China-EU Leaders’ Meeting and a new round of high-level dialogues on strategy, economy, trade, green development, digital economy,” underlined Xi during a phone conversation with Macron.

A new Silk Road era?

France is taking over the EU’s presidency for 2022, seemingly providing a fresh perspective in China-EU relations. With Xi and Macron holding constructive dialogues, the first’s commitment to advance the bonds of the two parties could have a positive impact on the New Silk Road.

The Chinese president stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral ties on strategy, economy, and trade, also focusing on green development and the digital economy. Could this mean that we should expect some further advances on the New Silk Road in terms of policy, digitalisation and sustainable development? Hopefully, yes, and hopefully, those advances could facilitate the rail freight business.

Points of caution

With the opportunity of stronger EU-China cooperation, maybe the European side could tackle some burning issues tainting Eurasian relations lately. For instance, as the EU Commission proposed a couple of weeks ago, the EU and France, in this case, could focus more on protecting member states from third-party coercion.

Coordinating actions with China and creating a proper legislative framework is crucial to ensure the safety of Member States from aggressive policies. One descriptive example of such policies is the conflict between China and Lithuania and the isolation of the latest from trade relations along the New Silk Road.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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