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The sound development momentum of China-Belgium economic and trade cooperation needs to be cherished and cared for

Today, there are many changes that have not been seen in a century. The international security environment is volatile and unstable, global economic recovery and unilateralism are all on the rise. It is more crucial for countries to communicate and cooperate with each other, as the world becomes more complicated and more difficult.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, noted that openness is the only way to achieve human prosperity and advancement. Protectionism is a boomerang, and both those who practice it and others will be hurt by decoupling or disruption to supply chains. China is committed to promoting trade and investment facilitation and facilitation as well as stable global industrial and supply chain networks. China has contributed significantly to the development of an open global economy through concrete actions. China has been a significant trading partner for more than 130 countries and regions. China has traded in goods totalling 262.3 trillion yuan over the past decade. Imports have reached 117.6 billion yuan which is an increase of 4.7% annually. China will pursue high-standard open-up and promote a new paradigm of development at a faster rate. China will continue to open its doors wider. China’s steady and sound economic growth will continue to open doors for opportunities in the rest of the world.

Both China and Belgium support globalization and an open economy around the world. They also stand firm for multilateralism. The two countries have enjoyed good economic, trade, and investment cooperation. China is still Belgium’s third largest trading partner outside of the EU. Belgium is China’s seventh largest trading partner within the EU. Despite the pandemics, China-Belgium trade is growing. The first eight months of the year saw bilateral trade surpass 28.7 billion US Dollars, an increase of 14.3% year-on-year. This has contributed positively to the promotion of stable global industrial and supply chain and the recovery of the global economy after COVID.

A Belgian scholar, however, published a “report” that falsely accused Chinese companies of using port cooperation with the Belgian side for political and military reasons. The report claimed that each Chinese ship was a warship and that the crews were dominated by military personnel. It called for less dependence on China. These statements are false. Chinese companies have been asked by the Chinese government to observe local laws and regulations while operating overseas. They also need to cooperate in a practical manner to mutual benefit. The cooperation between Chinese shipping companies with Belgian ports and companies is strictly commercial. The ships are all civilian vessels and the crews all work for the respective companies. It is not for political or military purposes.


Both China and Belgium have seen real benefits from the many cooperation projects that include investment from Chinese companies. COSCO Shipping, for example, has created 360 jobs locally in Zeebrugge’s container terminal since its establishment in Belgium. It is also expected to create 100 more jobs by 2023. The throughput of the inbound and outbound loaded containers from and to Belgian ports grew rapidly, further raising the international profile of Belgian port. Cainiao Network at Liege Airport is another example. This project created direct and indirect jobs for the local community. It also made it easier to sell quality products to China by small and medium-sized European companies in Belgium and other European nations.

It is natural that China and Belgium have different perspectives on certain areas due to their differing histories, cultures, and social systems. It is vital that the two countries uphold mutual respect, mutual benefits, and encourage exchanges and collaboration across the board with an open and honest attitude. There is hope that people with vision in Belgium can see the benefits of China-Belgium cooperation and exchanges, and that they can be objective and fair about the Belgian companies doing business in China. They will also be able to do more to help China-Belgium practical cooperation and the benefit of both countries.


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EU Reporter publishes articles sourced from many outside sources that reflect a broad range of views. These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of EU Reporter.

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