Xinhua Commentary: Chinese premier travels to Europe to boost ties, globalization in

This file photo taken on Jan. 20, 2023 shows a view of the snow-covered Davos in Switzerland. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)

Now, China once again shows its commitment to cooperation. For Europe and the world at large, joining forces with China is the fundamental way to navigate the headwinds facing the global economy.

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Qiang is embarking on his first overseas voyage in 2024, attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024 and paying an official visit to Switzerland and Ireland from Jan. 14 to 17.

Seeing Europe as a strategic force in the international arena, China has placed great emphasis on its relations with the continent. In 2023, after taking office as Chinese premier, Li made Europe his first destination for overseas visits.

The first trip abroad by a Chinese leader in the new year marks the continuation of high-level exchanges between China and Europe in 2024 and symbolizes China’s desire to play its role in fostering global economic recovery and governance and addressing common challenges together with the international community.

In recent years, the world has been struggling to recover from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and profound geopolitical transformations. Cold War mentalities and recurring conflicts have cast a heavy shadow over the entire world, impeding the progress of globalization and undermining the very foundation of global peace and development.

The World Bank recently warned that “the global economy is set for the weakest half-decade performance in 30 years.”

As both a beneficiary and an unwavering champion of global economic openness and cooperation, China has consistently put its shoulder to the wheel to safeguard the fruits of globalization and foster global collaboration to surmount challenges facing all.

The upcoming European tour undertaken by the Chinese premier is a testament to China’s unswerving commitment to this cause.

During the trip, Li is scheduled to participate in the opening plenary of the WEF annual meeting and deliver a special address, elaborating on China’s proposals for the international community to promote global cooperation, address various risks, bridge the development divide, and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes.

Over the past decade, China has been pulling its weight in driving global economic growth through its development, serving as a crucial powerhouse of the world economy by contributing over 30 percent to global economic growth.

Today, China’s determination and confidence to propel global growth with its development are going from strength to strength. With its continuously optimized economic structure, the dual circulation of domestic and international markets, and increasingly extensive international cooperation, China is generating a steady stream of growth momentum and potential for its economy.

World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende speaks during an interview with Xinhua at the WEF headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 9, 2024. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)

WEF President Borge Brende said in a recent interview with Xinhua that China will continue to be a major engine for global economic growth.

Furthermore, China has been striving to forge stronger collaborative ties with various economies. Among them, Europe is a priority.

In a spirit of mutual benefit and win-win results, China and Europe have established dozens of mechanisms for consultations and dialogue covering various fields such as politics, economy, trade, culture, science, and technology.

Trade between the two sides in various fields, like lithium batteries and new energy vehicles, is rapidly expanding. Chinese investment is supporting Europe’s transition to green, digital, and intelligent industries.

All indicate that China and Europe are partners, not adversaries — they offer each other opportunities, rather than posing threats.

China’s pivotal role has garnered extensive recognition in Europe. In the past year, numerous European leaders have visited China to explore more potential for cooperation. Recently, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo just concluded an official visit to the country. By embarking on trips to Switzerland and Ireland, the Chinese premier will inject more vitality into the dynamic China-Europe relationship.

When it comes to the global economy, everyone is in the same boat and has to pull at the same oars. Therefore, when certain countries may perceive China as a rival, threat, or risk, China is more inclined to view them as partners who ought to pull together and trust each other.

A drone photo taken on Jan. 10, 2024 shows the container terminal of Rizhao Port in Rizhao, east China’s Shandong Province. (Xinhua/Guo Xulei)

As pointed out by the Chinese premier when debunking the so-called “de-risking” rhetoric during his European visit last year, for all members of the international community including Europe, failure to cooperate is the biggest risk, and failure to develop is the biggest insecurity.

Amidst the ongoing regional hotspots like the Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Hamas conflict, Europe has witnessed the repercussions of confrontation and distrust firsthand.

Now, China once again shows its commitment to cooperation. For Europe and the world at large, joining forces with China is the fundamental way to navigate the headwinds facing the global economy. 

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