BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - With the United States intent on continuing with its unilateralism and protectionism, Asia and Europe will seek to strengthen their cooperation at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit being held in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday and Friday.
Asem is the highest-profile platform for dialogue between the two continents.
The discussions this time are focused on the theme of Europe and Asia: Global Partners for Global Challenges, as the participants look to work together to prevent the global trade and investment order from being undermined by the unruly actions of the US.
Since the US strengthened its protectionist trade stance early this year and intensified its efforts to try and tilt the global system further in its favour, its major trade partners, such as the European Union and China, Japan and South Korea in Asia, have increasingly felt the pinch from Washington's unreasonable demands.
And with the US also withdrawing or threatening to withdraw from a number of multilateral trade and economic governance platforms, its self-indulgence is casting a subversive shadow over the global coordination and cooperation necessary to cope with various common challenges, such as rising debt levels and climate change.
It is of great significance, therefore, that Europe and Asia enhance their common ground and bridge their differences so that they can concentrate their joint efforts to uphold economic globalisation and multilateralism in the face of Washington's debilitating efforts.
With the European Union putting forward its strategy for Eurasia connectivity, and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative gaining steam, the "distance" between the two continents is shrinking, especially now the value of their shared appreciation of rules-based trade and investment exchanges has been fully recognised.
With the EU's new strategy similar to the Belt and Road Initiative in essence, the two sides can discuss how the two initiatives can be coordinated and reinforced through closer cooperation, efforts that will not only benefit the economies and people of the two continents, but those of much larger parts of the world.
A closer relationship between the two continents is dependent on candid exchanges to promote consensus-building, and the two-day meeting offers an important opportunity for the involved countries to enhance the mutual understanding and trust necessary for them to act as a bulwark against the US administration's attack on the global system.
China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media entities.