Join Hands to Build a Community of Shared Future and Create a Brighter Future for China-Belgium All-round Partnership of Friendly Cooperation Together

Join Hands to Build a Community of Shared Future and Create a Brighter Future for China-Belgium All-round Partnership of Friendly Cooperation Together
Опубликовано: Friday, 19 April 2024 21:04

Ten years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to Belgium, and he upgraded the China-Belgium relationship to an all-round partnership of friendly cooperation together with King Philippe. Since then, despite international changes, with the commitment and under the strategic guidance of leaders of the two countries, China-Belgium relations have been defined by friendly cooperation, achieved remarkable outcomes and delivered real benefits to the two peoples — writes Wu Gang, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of China in Belgium.

Visionary high-level exchanges have charted the course.

During President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Belgium in March 2014, China and Belgium signed the Joint Declaration on Deepening All-Round Friendly Cooperative Partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Belgium, bringing bilateral ties to a new high. In June 2015, King Philippe chose China as the destination of his first state visit after taking the throne. In January 2017, President Xi Jinping and King Philippe met again in Davos. In April 2020, President Xi Jinping spoke with King Philippe over the phone about cooperation on the COVID response. In January 2024, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo paid an official visit to China. Prime Minister De Croo is the first Belgian Prime Minister who visited China after seven years, and the first European leader received by the Chinese side this year, which shows the commitment of both sides to further developing bilateral relations. During the visit, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and had in-depth discussions with him on bilateral ties and other topics, charting the course for the development of China-Belgium relations and opening up new vistas for practical cooperation. We believe that as the China-Belgium all-around partnership of friendly cooperation is embracing a new decade, high-level exchanges between the two countries will be even closer and continue to provide strategic guidance for the sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

Mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation has made solid progress.

Belgium is one of the first countries to welcome China’s opening-up policy, and one of the first developed western countries to invest and set up businesses in China. Economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results. In 2023, China-Belgium trade exceeded RMB282 billion yuan (approximately 36 billion euro). This number has doubled compared with ten years ago. In January this year, Belgian exports to China increased by 32.1 per cent year-on-year. Earlier this year, after completing customs clearance, the first shipment of Belgian pork products entered the Chinese market again after five years. According to an analysis by the Belgian press, the resumption of Belgian pork export to China will benefit nearly 6,000 pig farmers in Belgium. The Alibaba Cainiao e-Hub in Liege has consolidated Belgium’s position as a logistics hub in Europe. The CSP Zeebrugge Terminal has strengthened the international standing of Belgian ports. By the end of 2023, the Belgian side invested in over 1,300 projects in China, with a total amount of US$2.57 billion. Looking forward, China and Belgium have great potential in cooperation in such areas as agri-food products, logistics and transportation, biomedicine, and green development, which will inject fresh impetus into economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

In-depth and extensive cultural and people-to-people exchanges have been dynamic.

China and Belgium have a long history of cultural and people-to-people exchanges and share close bonds between the peoples. The 32 twin city/province relationships are bridges of friendship for the two sides to expand sub-national exchanges and practical cooperation. The stories of smurfs and the adventures of Tintin are well-known to the Chinese people. Giant pandas Xing Hui and Hao Hao are superstars in Belgium, and Tian Bao, Bao Di and Bao Mei are much loved by the Belgian public. The Happy Chinese New Year events have brought a festive vibe to the Belgian public. The Chinese side has announced visa exemption to the Belgian side and eased the way for foreigners to make payments, making it more convenient for Belgian travellers to visit China. As the key to state-to-state relations lies in close bonds between peoples, it is foreseeable that with more visits made between the two countries, China-Belgium relations, as well as exchanges and cooperation in different areas, will enjoy greater public support.

The past decade of success stories of China-Belgium all-round partnership of friendly cooperation is also a decade in which the vision of a global community of shared future proposed by President Xi Jinping has developed from a conceptual proposition to a scientific system, from a Chinese initiative to an international consensus, and from a promising vision to practical outcomes. From bilateral partners to multilateral institutions, from regional frameworks to global initiatives, and from public health to cyberspace and oceans, China has been building communities of shared future with scores of countries and regions in multiple forms and domains. Time and again, the vision has been written into U.N. General Assembly resolutions as well as resolutions and declarations of other multilateral mechanisms.

China is committed to working with other countries to build a global community of shared futures and advocates an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. The Chinese people believe that unity is strength, and the Belgian people believe that L’union fait la force. There are no geopolitical complications, past grievances or fundamental conflicts of interest between China and Belgium. This gives the two countries every reason to join hands to add more certainty, stability and positive energy to a fluid world. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the all-round partnership of friendly cooperation, China is ready to work with Belgium to uphold the vision of a global community of shared future, ensure sustained, sound and steady development of bilateral ties, play a bigger role in human progress and modernization, and create a better future for humanity.

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