Aerial photo taken on Nov. 29, 2016 shows a view of Lianyungang Port in Lianyungang City, east China’s Jiangsu Province. Lianyungang Port has been playing a pivotal role in connecting East Asia with Central Asia and Europe, offering an attractive alternative for the flow of trade between the three regions. (Xinhua/Han Yuqing)
by Xinhua writer Liang Linlin
Despite the headwinds in China-EU economic ties, bilateral trade managed to reach a new high in 2016, overcoming global trade downturn affected by sluggish demand and weak growth.
Data from Chinese customs show that bilateral trade value reached 2.94 trillion yuan (423.34 billion U.S. dollars) in the first 10 months.
On a daily basis, trade in goods between the EU and China is worth well over 1.5 billion euros (1.58 billion U.S. dollars), according to the EU data.
In 2016, the EU stands as China’s biggest trading partner, while China is the EU’s second largest trading partner after the United States.
China and the EU have a solid foundation of cooperation and the two sides have enhanced cooperation on connectivity, investment plans, and other strategies including “Made in China 2025” and Germany’s “Industry 4.0,” said Wang Yiwei, director of the Center for European Studies at China’s Renmin University.
And the connection between the two sides is deepening with the progress of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
The cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European Countries has become a highlight under the Belt and Road Initiative, said Wang.
Wang cited the fact that 25 Chinese cities have launched China-Europe express lines, which tremendously promoted the links between the two continents and contributed to the infrastructure construction and industrial development in the region.
Experts said it’s time for European countries to downplay their baseless worries over China, but to brace for pragmatic cooperation in the future.