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Video Message by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Ming at the Opening Ceremony of the Third Eurasian Connectivity and Industrial Cooperation Forum

President Joan Amorós,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by expressing, on behalf of the Chinese Mission to the EU, warm congratulations to FERRMED on the opening of this Forum. As the COVID-19 is still raging, it is highly relevant to focus on connectivity and discuss industrial cooperation in a post-COVID-19 era.

We are living through a global crisis rarely seen in human history, impeding the flow of people and goods, and reversing the decades-long course of global growth. Standstill, obstruction, isolation have become buzzwords in our daily life. Yet, looking back at our efforts in the past year, we have every confidence to defeat the virus. We are also more keenly aware of the importance of global partnerships for connectivity.

We must recognize that it is only with global cooperation and interconnection that we are able to address the current challenges. Thanks to highly interdependent global production and supply chains, sound capital markets, and well-connected transport networks, countries have been able to share information, help each other and avoid massive supply shortages and humanitarian crisis. The COVID-19 is spreading globally, yet it sheds light on the success and irreversible trend of globalization. China and the EU are both beneficiaries and advocates of globalization. The COVID-19 offers us a new opportunity to jointly reshape and further advance global partnerships for connectivity.

We need to look ahead and explore new possibilities for connectivity cooperation, bearing in mind the new circumstances and demand after the pandemic. Green and digital cooperation are holding out even greater prospects. For China and the EU, just running our own affairs well is not enough. We need to look at the bigger picture, engage with each other and build synergy between our strategies. We need to be green and digital partners in building connectivity. We have consensus on addressing climate change. We can discuss how to work together to strengthen green infrastructure, make value chains greener, provide green global public goods, and bolster the tripartite cooperation on sustainable development. China and the EU have respective strengths and shared concerns on digital economy and artificial intelligence. We need to keep markets open, enhance technological and industrial cooperation, and jointly formulate global standards and rules in the digital domain. We need to support business cooperation on circular economy, 5G and smart city, lending a fresh impetus to the post-COVID-19 recovery.

We need to act creatively and bravely to enrich connectivity cooperation. Entrepreneurs are most sensitive to opportunities arising from difficulties and then turn opportunities into actions. During the pandemic, the air cargo routes between China and Europe are very busy. China’s city of Zhengzhou, my hometown, is connected with Luxembourg and Belgium’s Liège by frequent air cargo services. The China-Europe express rail link serves as the mainstay for land transportation, making 40% more trips than the previous year. FERRMED, under the stewardship of President Amorós and Ambassador Pedro Ramos, has done a lot to promote rail services, customs facilitation and local industrial cooperation between China and Europe. Late last month, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, together with local governments, held 13 virtual promotion events in nine Chinese and European cities in four countries, with more than 8000 participants. These are encouraging facts and figures. We have every reason to believe that the mutually beneficial relations between China and the EU will not be weakened. The market demand underpinning economic and industrial growth will only grow stronger. The pie of cooperation will only become bigger.

As an old Chinese saying goes, “One shall not be too happy in good times, nor sad in bad times.” Every action and decision taken at difficult moments could make a bigger difference than usual. I look forward to benefiting from your insightful discussions. I wish this Forum a great success.

Thank you.

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