Decoupling from China would be “complete folly” for Europe: former UN official-English-东北网

A container ship of China’s COSCO Shipping docks at the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Ren Pengfei)

“Some politicians believe that European countries should decouple or de-risk with China, but this idea is a complete folly,” Erik Solheim, former United Nations (UN) under-secretary general and former executive director of the UN Environment Program, told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday.

Solheim dismissed “decoupling” and “de-risking” and argued that both would be detrimental to China as well as Europe, severely limiting global economic growth and hindering cooperation on pressing global challenges.

The 24th China-EU Summit was held in Beijing this week. Solheim underscored the significance of the summit as an opportunity to strengthen China-EU relations in a complex geopolitical landscape.

He described the summit as a positive momentum for both China and the EU, highlighting the transformative potential of collaboration between the two economic giants.

“It is a no-brainer that all big issues of our time are easier to handle if China and the EU work together. Destruction of the environment, climate change, global poverty, conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza and other places — simply any issue under the Sun is easier to resolve if China and the EU cooperate,” he said.

An expert in environmental and developmental issues, Solheim called for deeper cooperation between China and Europe in the green sectors.

This photo taken on Sept. 4, 2023 shows a BYD Seal electric car during the press preview of the 2023 International Motor Show (IAA) in Munich, Germany. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

He noted the significant shift in the environmental landscape over the past decade, with China now leading in most green sectors.

“China is the indispensable nation for the green shift. Europe needs to get up early in the morning to compete. We should promote mutual green investments between Europe and China, exchange of renewable technologies and work together to help developing nations in Africa and beyond to create green growth,” Solheim said.

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