Monday

3rd Oct 2022

Stakeholder

ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges

  • The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit will take place on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo: O Palsson)

On 18 and 19 October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will join other leaders of ASEM members for the 12th ASEM Summit in Brussels.

The theme of this summit "Global Partners for Global Challenges" is highly relevant.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • We could also explore more opportunities in such future-oriented areas as clean energy, ecological protection, smart technology and urbanization, suggests Zang Ming (Photo: Mission of China to the EU)

In this age of multiple challenges, China is committed to working with other countries in Asia and Europe to send a strong signal of upholding multilateralism and to forge a robust ASEM partnership.

Asia and Europe are the cradles of Oriental and Western civilisations. Both have witnessed the splendid episodes of world history and human progress. More than two thousand years ago, Asia and Europe were connected by the ancient Silk Road, which led to mutual learning, exchanges and interactions.

Some 22 years ago, ASEM was born in the broader context of globalisation. Over time, the mechanism has grown into an important platform for Asia and Europe to engage with each other for greater mutual understanding and cooperation.

ASEM stands for the spirit of multilateralism and openness, and the commitment to seek dialogue and partnership rather than confrontation and alliance.

For years, ASEM members have endeavoured to advance trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, promote sustainable development, build an open world economy, and bring forward global governance reform.

Despite great cultural differences, ASEM members have drawn strength from such diversity and bring their citizens closer to each other through dialogue and communication.

ASEM's success sheds light on a simple yet powerful message: openness leads to progress, and cooperation benefits all. Protectionism leads nowhere, and zero-sum game dooms to fail.

Upholding multilateralism

Asia and Europe need to build stronger consensus. Since its inception, ASEM has weathered through some major challenges, like the 9/11 attacks and the global financial crisis, testifying to its great resilience and the unwavering commitment to cooperation.

As anti-globalisation and protectionist sentiments threaten to come back, our world is mired in a greater sense of instability and uncertainty. It is more important than ever for ASEM members to come together, think in long terms, and take coordinated actions to resist unilateralism and uphold multilateralism.

Asia and Europe need to unleash greater potential.

Many Asian and European countries have increased input in connectivity and made good progress. China has put forward the Belt and Road Initiative, and the EU has released a strategy for connecting Europe and Asia.

To increase Eurasian connectivity, apart from bilateral partnerships, ASEM as a multilateral mechanism has a crucial role to play as well. We need to strive for early harvests in such priority areas as trade and investment facilitation, sustainable development, digital economy, and people-to-people exchanges.

We could also explore more opportunities in such future-oriented areas as clean energy, ecological protection, smart technology and urbanisation.

People-to people

Asia and Europe need to harness the strength of people. The 53 ASEM members vary from one another due to different historical and national conditions. Yet, the long-term development of ASEM would not be possible without respect for such differences.

For this to happen, cultural exchanges and communication are critically important.

Thanks to the widespread use of information technology, people-to-people exchanges could be much more diverse, engaging and convenient than before. We must act together to ensure that our cooperation is always of the people, by the people and for the people.

At the upcoming summit, China stands ready to join hands with other ASEM members to add to the sense of togetherness and the spirit of partnership, and make positive contribution to more substantial cooperation between Asia and Europe.

Author bio

The author is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Head of Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

An open China will foster a world-class business environment

China is expanding market access for foreign enterprises and creating a world-class environment where businesses are assured a high-level of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and equal access to opportunities.

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

Some 60 years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels. Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding imports, will open in Shanghai, China.

Opinion

Why international brands want Cambodia to meet EU demands

Western buyers purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of manufactured products in Cambodia, which gives them the economic leverage to encourage meaningful changes in factory and worker conditions.

EU, wake up! Don't leave West Balkans to Russia or China

Russia's attack on Ukraine and European values must remind us how important the enlargement process is, if properly conducted, as a motor for democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and prosperity, write six S&D MEPs.

Dialogue and action – Nordic cooperation and view on COP26

Nordic countries launched several initiatives at the COP26 climate conference which will have a real impact on the ground. Nordic and UK pension funds are to invest billions in clean energy and climate initiatives. Greenland has joined the Paris Agreement.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs warn joint-nationality citizens in Russia on mobilisation
  2. Greece to unveil proposal for capping EU gas prices
  3. Four dead, 29 missing, after dinghy found off Canary Islands
  4. Orbán: German €200bn shield is start of 'cannibalism in EU'
  5. Lithuania expels top Russian diplomat
  6. Poland insists on German WW2 reparations
  7. Russia halts gas supplies to Italy
  8. Bulgaria risks hung parliament after inconclusive vote

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. Last-minute legal changes to Bosnian election law stir controversy
  2. EU wants probe into alleged Nagorno-Karabakh war crimes
  3. EU officials were warned of risk over issuing financial warning
  4. EU debates national energy plans amid calls for more coordination
  5. What Modi and Putin’s ‘unbreakable friendship’ means for the EU
  6. EU leaders have until Friday for refugee resettlement pledges
  7. Cities and regions stand with citizens and SMEs ahead of difficult winter
  8. Editor's weekly digest: A week of leaks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us