Better Sino-US relations benefit world

Updated: 2013-06-11 01:01

By Zhang Chunyan in London (China Daily)

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More stable relations between China and the United States are in the interests of Europe and the world, said European experts.

The just concluded two-day informal summit between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama has attracted a great deal of international attention.

"The meeting has a global significance because of the role of the US and China, as they are both great powers in the world," Jonas Parello-Plesner, senior policy fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relations, told China Daily.

The summit was the first face-to-face meeting the two leaders have had since Xi took office in March. They met in February 2012 in Washington when Xi had a week-long visit to the US as China's vice-president.

Creating such a level of contact between two leaders enables them to communicate in different ways in the future, Parello-Plesner said, adding that "this matters to the bilateral relationship, for the world as a whole, and for Europe".

Sino-European trade issues are very high on the agenda in Europe at the moment, due to the European Commission's decision to impose duties on Chinese solar panels, he explained.

Closer economic ties

The commission could also take measures against Chinese telecom equipment companies, "so it matters a lot how trade discussions between China and the US evolve".

Xi and Obama focused on strengthening closer economic ties during their meeting on Saturday morning, with Xi calling for more cooperation in bilateral investment, energy and infrastructure, as well as local exchanges.

Obama said the US welcomes Chinese investment, and vowed to take action on relaxing restrictions on high-tech exports to China. He also agreed with Xi on the need for closer cooperation in trade and energy.

"If China and the US have a more stable relationship, that is important for Europe in the sense that both China and Europe are trading a lot with the US, and at the same time, Europe is developing trade and investment links much more with China, particularly Germany," Parello-Plesner said.

His comments were echoed by other European analysts.

S. Ehtisham Ahmad, senior fellow of the Asia Research Centre of the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "The meeting is hugely significant, because China needs the US much as the US needs China."

Europe and the US are both trying to export aircraft, high-end electronic products, automobiles and luxury goods to China, he said, adding that China doesn't depend solely on the US for such products.

But Ahmad stressed: "While the US and Europe may be economically competing with each other, a stable relationship between the US and China helps political stability, and that's also in the interests of European countries as well."

Parello-Plesner added: "Any instability in Sino-US relations in the strategic and military areas could influence European efforts to extend trade and commercial relations."

Nicola Casarini, a research fellow at the EU Institute for Security Studies, said: A good working relationship at all levels and in all fields between these two great powers is essential for ensuring global prosperity and peace."

Casarini added: "We hope that one day a US-China-EU summit will be created. The three are the largest economies accounting together for more than 75 percent of the world's GDP."