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China-EU comprehensive cooperation conducive to global growth, peace and stability: ambassador

Updated: Jul 11, 2018 Xinhua Print

BRUSSELS — "China-EU comprehensive cooperation is conducive to global growth, peace and stability. Under the current global circumstances, both sides wish to present a positive outlook on China-Europe cooperation," Zhang Ming, head of the mission of the People’s Republic of China to the EU, told Handelsblatt, a leading German-language business newspaper, in an interview on July 5.

China and the European Union (EU) are working intensively to prepare for the 20th China-EU summit to be held in Beijing from July 16 to 17, said the ambassador.

"The summit is expected to achieve the following goals. First it will fully demonstrate the positive commitment of China and the EU to deepen practical cooperation. And it will also highlight the consensus of the two sides on international issues and on the strategic significance of China-EU relations," he said.

"The second goal is to chart the future course and identify new areas of cooperation. And the third goal is that in light of the current hotspot issues and global challenges, we hope to send a positive message on upholding the multilateral trading system," said Zhang.

As to bilateral investment treaty talks, he said the two sides take the talks as a priority in the economic and trade relations.

"According to the agreement reached during last month’s China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue, both sides would seek to exchange market access offers during the upcoming summit. If that happens, it would be a significant and encouraging progress," said Zhang.

INVESTMENT IS DEVELOPING IN MUTUAL WAY

Commenting on some European countries’ anxiety about Chinese investment, he told Handelsblatt that bilateral trade has enjoyed a fast development and exceeded $610 billion in 2017, and with that, investment is developing as well in a mutual way.

"The EU is currently the third largest source of investments for China. A growing number of Chinese companies are now going global and looking for global partners including European partners. No doubt that such investments have contributed to growth, employment and tax revenues of the host countries. Especially when the financial crisis hit Europe, Chinese investment played a positive and helpful role," said Zhang.

"Not far from here in the city of Ghent, a factory owned by the Volvo car company was in a very difficult situation in 2008. Then a Chinese company acquired Volvo car company. With capital coming in and innovation motivated, this factory in Ghent has managed the turnaround," he noted.

Concerning the investment screening scheme proposed by the European Commission, Zhang noted that "investment is driven by market forces. So it is not true to say that Europe does not welcome Chinese investments."

"If an investment is not a win-win deal for both sides, it could not happen at all. If the project itself is not attractive enough, no investor would put money in. Investment is a market behavior in nature. Market as an invisible hand is playing its role. But currently unfortunately there seems to be a busy hand that is trying to do a disservice, trying to tie down the invisible hand of the market," he said.

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