CRF Vice Chairman Zhou Hong and Senior Adviser Ma Zhengang Attended the Conference on “The EU and China: Reform and Governance”
Release Time:2015-05-06

CRF vice chairman Zhou Hong and CRF senior adviser Ma Zhengang leading a delegation visited Brussel and attended the conference on "The EU and China: Reform and Governance", which was co-hosted by China Reform Forum and College of Europe. Ma Zhengang gave the opening remarks at the meeting. Below is the full text of Mr.Ma's speech:

Sino-EU Relations Call for New Vision

The year 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU. The great achievements of co-operation and exchanges over the past four decades have convincingly demonstrated the significance and values of this relationship. It has not only brought great substantial benefits to both China and the EU, but also contributed enormously to peace, stability and development all over the world. Both sides now have realized this relationship of strategic importance indispensable to them. How to make the Sino-EU partnership stronger, wider, deeper and more profitable is a question both Chinese and Europeans should give sincere thought. Beyond any doubt, there exist all kinds of favorable conditions for furtherance of the Sino-EU relations at present. At the same time, there are quite a few new challenges apart from some old traditional ones. After all, the world has gone through unprecedented changes over the past 40 years. So has China and Europe. New situation calls new thinking and new vision in propelling the Sino-EU relations. 

40 years ago, the world was still fully enveloped in heavy Cold War atmosphere, and power confrontation and conflicts were regular occurrences. And now we are in a globalized world in which countries are more interdependent and interconnected, and their interests and harms are increasingly interwoven. No global issue can be settled by one country or a few countries, but requires the joint efforts of the international community. Under the new circumstances, Cold War mentality is totally unpopular and the zero-sum is gradually an out-of-date game.

40 years ago, the two superpowers played a dominant role in world affairs and later the G7 tried to be the global governor. And now with the emergence of a large number of developing countries, the West powers could no longer lord it over the rest nations.

40 years ago, cross-Atlantic was the world centre. And now, the focus of the world attention has moved gradually to Asian-Pacific area.

Those are but just some most striking changes.

Moreover, great changes have also taken place in China and Europe. 40 years ago, China was in deep troubles of the so-called “cultural revolution” and the country was big but poor and backward. And now, China is the second largest economy, the largest trade partner and the largest manufacturer in the world. Europe is, too, quite different from what it was 40 years ago. The EU has become a much larger community of 28 countries and its total economic strengthen can compare to that of the United States.

Both China and Europe are now most important players in international affairs. As two great powers, two big markets and two representatives of world-known civilization, I believe, China and Europe joining hands, and together with all other countries, could shape the world future in a much better manner. At the same time, both China and Europe are now at a critical juncture of reform and development. Comprehensive cooperation between them can supplement each other and benefit both.

During his visit to Europe, China’s President Xi Jinping put forward the notion that China and Europe work together in building the four great partners of peace, growth, reform and civilization. That point out the direction and set forth the practical programme for new type relations between China and Europe. The key to that is building mutual strategic trust between the two sides fundamentally. For that, I think it very important for both sides to see each other in new sight and consider the relationship with new thought. And the critical issue is how Europe to look upon a rising China in an objective and realistic way.

China is a country with one fifth of the world population. The development of such a country and the continuous well-off of its people in itself is s great contribution to world stability and progress of mankind. The rapid rising of a big country is generally likely to cause suspicion and even worries, particularly among those people who stick to Cold War mentality. Over the years, our ears have filled with all kinds of fallacies of “China threat”. A simple but sincere study of the facts about China will find all those are nonsensical talks. Here I just present a few points for observation.

One, the purpose and objective of China’s development is for a modernized China and affluent life of all its population. China now aims at realizing the “two centenary goals”, accomplishing the building a comprehensive well-being society by the hundredth birthday of the Party in 2021, and completing fundamental modernization by the centenary of PRC in 2049. We have never cherished the attempt of seeking world domination and hegemony.

Two, the manner of China’s development is sticking to the path of peaceful development. We rely mainly on the endeavours of the Chinese people, at the same time strengthening international cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits and win-win results.

Three, China is probably the only big country that has long stood for common development and common prosperity, and never to seek its development at the cost of other countries.

Fourth, China has ever advocated for equality and mutual respect among all nations and strongly opposed intervention on the internal affairs of other countries.

Fifth, China unswervingly works for peace, security and stability of the world and calls for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in regions and the world.

Sixth, China itself has a brilliant and uninterrupted civilization of over 5000 years, but never looks down upon other civilization. We believe that civilizations can be unique, but no one is superior to others. We stand for ensuring inclusiveness and mutual learning from each other.

These are but the major view-points and policy stands of China. We insist on those principles in words as well as in deeds.

The interests of China and Europe as well as the interests of the whole world need better and closer cooperation. Let us work together for that!

Thank you!


Previous:A Delegation Headed by South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and...
Next:A Delegation From Nepal Non-Governmental Organizations Visited CRF