China-EU cooperation gains momentum through green partnership – Xinhua

Photo taken on Sept. 16, 2020 shows the lifting operation at the construction site of the Senj wind farm project in Senj, Croatia. (Xinhua/Gao Lei)

BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) — The offshore construction of a wind farm is complicated. It is often described as a “moon landing” mission. This is even truer in the Mediterranean, one of the busiest waterways in the world.

Yet Italian determination coupled with Chinese expertise are beginning to make the southern European nation’s dream of clean electricity a reality.

WIND OF COOPERATION

A huge wind turbine installation vessel is on standby 24 hours a day off the port of Taranto in southern Italy, where engineers are about to witness the birth of the first offshore wind farm in the Mediterranean. When fully operational, Beleolico could supply 18,500 homes.

Thanks to Chinese expertise, the construction of the wind farm is nearing completion. He’s ready to tell the story of how bringing together Chinese renewable technologies and Europe’s ambitious green goals can make a difference.

And when the wind blows over the rotor blades of the turbine off the coast of Puglia – the “heel” of the Italian boot – the wind farm can generate zero-emission electricity to power tens of thousands of families. local.

A wind turbine blade is installed at the construction site of the Senj wind farm in Senj, Croatia, September 27, 2020. (Photo by Ding Decai/Xinhua)

Italy is not the only European country to work with China to generate electricity from the wind. In a dense mountain forest in western Croatia, the country’s largest wind farm, built by a Chinese company, has started operating. It promotes greener local growth and could persuade more environmentally conscious young people to stay and develop their hometowns.

This wind of renewable energy cooperation is extremely valuable and essential as the headwinds of protectionism and confrontation swirl with force. That is why the leaders of China and the European Union (EU) once again underlined their common commitment to promoting common development and jointly addressing global challenges such as climate change during their virtual meeting of Friday by video.

A SHARED GREEN FUTURE

These cooperative wind farm projects are made possible primarily through China’s and the EU’s joint pursuit of green development, a key element of the “Xiconomics” championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and guiding China’s high quality growth.

Following Xi’s economic thinking, China has built the largest wind and solar power capacity in the world, with an increase in new installations surpassing any other country in the world. In 2021, China sold more than 3.5 million new energy vehicles, ranking first in the world for the seventh consecutive year.

As China delivers on its mid-century pledge of carbon neutrality, the country is synergizing its development strategy with that of the EU to generate new driving forces in an already vibrant partnership.

Photo taken on June 1, 2021 shows Your Wisdom, one of two catamarans operating a fast ferry service between Valletta and Gozo, arrives at Mgarr Port in Gozo, Malta. (Photo by Jonathan Borg/Xinhua)

Around 800km from the port of Taranto, China’s Shanghai Electric Power Company Limited is using its expertise in wind, solar and hydrogen energy on the Maltese island of Gozo, which could become the EU’s first carbon-neutral island.

Horst Loechel, a professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, stressed the importance of green cooperation between China and the EU.

This “cooperative model” in the field of green energy is of great importance for the world, the professor said.

“We will see more and more joint efforts in inventing, adopting and commercializing technologies,” said Xiong Yu, a professor at Britain’s Surrey Business School, while discussing the prospects for cooperation. green China-EU.

“The collaboration will be stronger and stronger and obviously can have an impact on the world,” he said, adding that “it will significantly improve trust and partnerships in many other areas between the two regions.”

A PARTNERSHIP OF GLOBAL IMPORTANCE

Eight years ago, during a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels, President Xi proposed that the two sides promote a partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization.

In a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen via video link on Friday, Xi called for greater synergy between their development strategies and complementarity between the new philosophy and China’s new development paradigm and EU trade policy for open strategic autonomy.

The new development philosophy, characterized by innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, was proposed by Xi in 2015 and has since driven China’s growth and strengthened trade ties with other countries.

Photo taken on April 16, 2018 shows cargo containers of China Railway Express at the Duisburg Intermodal Terminal (DIT) in Duisburg, western Germany. (Xinhua/Luo Huanhuan)

China-EU trade has undoubtedly benefited from such a vision. In 2021, bilateral trade between China and the EU stood at over US$800 billion, a new all-time high, up 33% from eight years ago. Bilateral investment exceeded US$270 billion last year.

The EU became China’s second largest trading partner last year. In the first two months of 2022, it overtook the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to grab the top spot, indicating the huge potential for bilateral trade.

And across the Eurasian continent, freight trains transporting goods between China and Europe are growing steadily, supporting global supply chains despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. .

“China and the EU should act as two major markets promoting shared development and deepening economic globalization through open cooperation,” Xi said, adding that China welcomes the support and participation of the EU. EU to the Global Development Initiative which aims for balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth. worldwide.

“China and Europe are close trading partners,” said Timo Vuori, director of international trade and trade policy at the Confederation of Finnish Industries.

It is vital for them to “continue to develop bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, investment and climate change. For example, there is potential for industrial digitalization and a green economy, including sustainable manufacturing and energies renewables,” Vuori said.

For Professor Xiong in Britain, China-EU relations are of global importance. “The collaboration between China and the EU can greatly benefit each other and create unique value and opportunities for the whole human society.”