Commentary: Xi Jinping’s big diplomatic move draws global attention
By Zhong Sheng
Source: People’s Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Finland before he heads to Florida for a meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump next week. During the four-day trip starting on April 4, he will meet with Trump in Mar-a-Lago.
The international community places high expectation on this big diplomatic event, hoping that the tour will give a positive signal about China’s mutually beneficial cooperation with Europe and the US.
Finland was among the earliest Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with China. The inter-governmental trade and payment agreement they inked in 1953 was also the first of its kind between China and the capitalistic West.
Back in 1970s, Finland rendered its support to China in restoring the latter’s legitimate seat in the UN. The bilateral ties between the two countries in recent years have moved forward along a positive track.
It’s worth noting that Finland, as a world-known innovation pioneer, and China, which is now devoted to economic transformation and innovation-driven development, can complement their economic advantages and cooperate in a number of fields.
Xi’s Finnish tour will inject new vitality into bilateral relations, intensify their political mutual trust and cement pragmatic collaboration in various fields.
His upcoming state visit to Finland, coming at a time when the EU stands at a crucial juncture, will be this year’s first trip to an EU member state by the Chinese head of state.
Not long ago, the EU held commemorative events to mark the 60th anniversary of Treaty of Rome, during which it reiterated the “European voice” on persistence to its integration process.
As an important part of the world, Europe has a great influence on the world architecture. Backing the European integration process as always, China also expects a united, stable, prosperous and open EU.
The forthcoming European trip of the Chinese president indicates that China will, from a strategic and long-term perspective, commit itself to building the four major China-EU partnerships featuring peace, growth, reform and civilization and join efforts with the European side to seek a peaceful, open, inclusive and prosperous globe.
The meeting between the heads of state of China and the US, as the largest developing and developed countries, respectively, as well as the top two economies in the world, has drawn global attention.
Since Trump took office, the US and Chinese heads of state have maintained sound communication through phone conversations and messages. Thanks to the close communication and joint efforts of both nations, bilateral ties are now developing in a positive direction.
In their important phone conversation last month, both heads of state confirmed the importance of adherence to the one-China policy and vowed to propel bilateral ties for greater progress at the new starting point, charting a course for the future bilateral relationship.
During the upcoming meeting, China and the US will enhance communication, thus pointing a way for their relations as well as cooperation in bilateral, regional and global range.
As a Chinese saying goes, “when important things are addressed first, secondary issues will not be difficult to settle. When you ascend to the top of Mountain Tai, you will find other mountains much less challenging.”
Given the importance of China-US ties to both countries and the world, they need to bear more historic lessons and foresightedness in mind when drawing the roadmap for their relationship.
Reviewing their relations from a historic perspective, it is found that the progress of bilateral relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties has brought the two peoples tangible benefits and given a boost to peace, stability and prosperity in the world and the region.
Facts have proven that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US. Today’s world bets more on a stable development of China-US ties, while the latter is now presented with important opportunities.
The Financial Times in a recent article commented that “the future of our world heavily depends on relations between the US, a young country and the incumbent superpower, and China, an ancient empire and a rising superpower”.
“However contrasting the two countries may appear, they do share interests,” the paper added.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, during his China visit in 2013, said that the emerging forces are rising in the changing world, and in such a globalized world, equality must be given more weight in state-to-state relations.
China, when dealing with its relations with Europe, the US or other sides, always hope to beef up cooperation based on mutual respect and equal treatment.
The world has every reason to believe that Xi’s Finnish and US visits will exhibit a high sense of historic and future responsibility. China’s closer cooperation with Europe and the US will contribute more to world peace and development.