APD | The Future of Sino-Europe Relations

2024-05-13 17:23 BY APD NEWS

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist, Diplomat, Editor, Analyst, Consultant, Advisor, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG. (E-mail:

Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Europe (5-10 May 2024) was a significant diplomatic endeavor, fostering stronger ties between China and key European nations. President Xi visited France, Serbia, and Hungary. Each stop held its own importance and yielded notable achievements.

In France, President Xi's visit reaffirmed the longstanding friendship between China and France. The two countries reached agreements aimed at deepening economic cooperation and promoting mutual understanding. President Xi's discussions with French leaders emphasized the importance of bilateral trade and investment, paving the way for increased collaboration in various sectors.

Serbia welcomed President Xi with open arms, highlighting the strong bond between the two nations. During his visit, President Xi and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic signed agreements to enhance political ties and expand economic cooperation. These agreements signify a shared commitment to building a prosperous future together.

Hungary played host to President Xi's vision of enhanced connectivity and cooperation. President Xi's discussions with Hungarian leaders focused on strengthening infrastructure and energy partnerships, laying the groundwork for sustained collaboration in the years ahead. The pledges made during his visit underscored the strategic importance of Hungary in China's broader European engagement.

During his recent visit to France, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered three key messages, underlining China's commitment to strengthening ties with the West, particularly Europe. These messages underscore China's strategic objectives and its cooperative approach to international relations.

Firstly, President Xi pledged to open Chinese markets to Western companies, demonstrating China's dedication to fostering free trade and foreign investment. This move not only deepens economic relations between China and Europe but also presents fresh opportunities for Western enterprises, fostering global economic growth and facilitating increased cooperation and trade.

Secondly, President Xi acknowledged the challenges posed by the Ukrainian crisis to Europe's security and economy, affirming China's awareness of these issues. China stands ready to contribute to peace settlement efforts and support stability in Europe, showcasing its commitment to global peace and stability.

Thirdly, President Xi reiterated China's commitment to mutual respect and peaceful coexistence among nations, emphasizing the importance of balanced and sustainable international relations. Through this commitment, China aims to collaborate with other nations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, fostering global peace and security.

These messages outline President Xi's vision for the future of Sino-European relations, emphasizing the significance of international dialogue and cooperation in achieving common development and stability. The recent visit to France, Serbia, and Hungary marks a new phase of cooperation and understanding between China and Europe.

During the visit to France, President Xi and French leaders reached several agreements aimed at consolidating bilateral relations and enhancing strategic stability. Both sides emphasized the importance of mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, and non-interference in internal affairs, laying the groundwork for fruitful cooperation.

Similarly, in Serbia, President Xi and Serbian President Vucic agreed to deepen political ties and expand investments, cementing an "ironclad partnership" between the two countries. The signing of a free trade deal and pledges for further economic cooperation highlight the mutual benefits of Sino-Serbian relations.

In Hungary, President Xi pledged increased investments in transport and energy infrastructure, further solidifying bilateral cooperation. The construction of a high-speed railway and cooperation in the nuclear sector demonstrate China's commitment to enhancing connectivity and promoting economic development in Central and Eastern Europe.

President Xi's visit to Europe not only strengthens bilateral ties but also contributes to global governance and peace. Through initiatives like the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, China aims to address global challenges and promote common development, fostering a more harmonious and multipolar world.

President Xi's Europe visit underscores China's commitment to constructive engagement with the international community and its desire to play a positive role in global affairs. By emphasizing mutual respect, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence, China seeks to build a more prosperous and stable world for all.

There will be definitely a visible positive change in Sino-Europe relations. Trade, and investment will be boosted, people to people contacts, cultural exchange and transfer of technology may witness boom. Visa regime will be more facilitating to exchanges of youth and students among Europe and China. 

Although, President Xi, spent few days and visited three European countries, but, there are many European nations are willing to come close to China. Germany may be leading other European nations to work closely with China. Especially many countries, members of EU, NATO, and close ally with US are looking toward China. Europe is fed up of Ukraine crisis and is depending on China to play a crucial role. 

The movement for European independence and sovereignty is also very active and exploring other options than US, or NATO.  Ukraine issue has adverse impact on entire Europe and they wanted to resolve it at any cost, whereas, the US is not sincere to end Ukraine crisis in the near future. The US is neither dependent on Russian Oil and Gas, nor wheat from Ukraine, but, Europe is totally dependent of Energy from Russia and Food from Ukraine. As a result of Ukraine crisis, Europe is facing huge challenges on Energy and Food. China is in a position to play strategic role to end Ukrainian crisis. 

As a matter of fact, the US was using its European allies in its anti-China campaign. But, after President Xi’s visit, some of American allies in Europe may not joint anti-China campaign with same intensity.   However, Europe understand that their future is with China, as the US have little to offer, whereas, China possesses huge potential of collaboration and can contribute heavily in reviving Europe’s economy. His Europe trip was fruitful and will be visible in the days to come.