China plays vital role in promoting Asia-Europe cooperation: Singaporean scholar

Aerial photo taken on May 26, 2020 shows a China-Europe freight train carrying mechanical accessories, fabrics and solar photovoltaic products bound for Hanoi of Vietnam leaving a logistic hub in Hai'an, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Connectivity is an important area in cooperation between Asia and Europe, and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) serves this purpose.

SINGAPORE, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- China has played a vital role in promoting Asia-Europe cooperation, said Yu Hong, a senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore.

Connectivity is an important area in cooperation between Asia and Europe, and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) serves this purpose, Yu told Xinhua in an interview in the run-up to the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit held via video conferencing from Thursday to Friday and hosted by Cambodia.

The China-Europe freight train service under the BRI framework has been a special highlight, Yu said.

Data from the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. showed the China-Europe freight trains recorded 12,600 trips and transported more than 1.2 million TEUs of goods from January to October, exceeding the respective figures for the whole year of 2020.

A China-Europe freight train carrying anti-epidemic supplies prepares to head for Belgrade, Serbia, in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, May 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

As the world's second-largest economy, China has been an important trading partner for most of the Asian and European countries, Yu said, adding that the China-Europe freight train service, by transporting face masks and other medical supplies, has assisted in the efforts to combat COVID-19 in Asia and Europe, and boosted the resilience of intercontinental supply chains and industrial chains.

The freight train service not only increases the interconnectivity by land between Asia and Europe but also serves as an important link for their economic and trade cooperation, according to Yu.

In Yu's eyes, Asia and Europe are both influential continents politically and economically, and are the world's important forces in promoting multilateralism and building a multi-polar world.

The economic and trade ties between Asia and Europe are very strong and dynamic, Yu noted, and attributed the situation to the fact that they both have broad markets and are at different stages of economic development with highly complementary industrial structures.

Aerial photo taken on Feb. 17, 2020 shows a China-Europe freight train fully loaded with auto parts, mechanical facilities and garments bound for Moscow of Russia and Minsk of Belarus waiting for departure at Xiangtang railway port in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua/Hu Chenhuan)

Yu said strengthening cooperation between Asia and Europe is particularly significant against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expanding two-way investment in increasing production capacity and broadening markets can help strengthen the resilience of regional and global supply chains and industrial chains, thus contributing to post-COVID-19 economic recovery in both continents, Yu said.

In addition, Asia and Europe share interests in tackling climate challenges, especially in developing clean energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Yu said, adding that the two sides can further tap the potential for cooperation in this field.

Copyright © 2013, Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries
Address: No. 2, Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100701 FAX:86-10-65962554