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China envoy calls for cooperative attitude in Sino-EU ties

Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, receives an interview with Xinhua on Dec 27, 2018. (YE PINGFAN / XINHUA)

BRUSSELS – Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union (EU), on Monday called for cooperative, open-minded and positive attitude to seek solutions to problems between the two sides.

“Some are saying that Europe is already quite open, and the ball is in China’s court to rebalance the economic and trade relations. Yet, to foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory regulatory environment, both sides need to move in the same direction, and neither should stop or even backslide,” said Zhang.

… to foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory regulatory environment, both sides need to move in the same direction, and neither should stop or even backslide.

Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU

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The ambassador made the remarks when addressing a meeting of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament, and thereafter also commented on questions about a number of issues raised during the two-hour meeting.

Zhang told the lawmakers that the investment agreement negotiation between China and the EU has visibly accelerated. “The two sides have made significant progress on the level-playing field issues and are stepping up efforts to find a potential landing zone on market access and sustainable development.”

He voiced hope that both sides could work together in a mutually accommodating spirit, with a view to reaching a comprehensive, balanced and high-level agreement this year, “which can stand the test of times and satisfy the people in both China and the EU”.

Highlighting that China’s ranking in the World Bank report on ease of doing business has risen from 78th to 31st in past three years, even higher than some EU member states, Zhang argued that more complaints from Chinese companies in the EU are being heard that the business environment here is becoming less friendly and that the policy uncertainties are on the rise.

“I hope you can also read the recommendation report published by the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU this month, take the concerns of Chinese businesses seriously, and get them properly addressed,” he said.

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Brussels-based China Chamber of Commerce to the EU, which represents about 1,000 Chinese companies, published its annual recommendation report on Sept. 10 which concludes that Chinese companies in the EU currently have a less favorable view on the ease of doing business in the bloc, but are willing to increase investment if the environment gets better.

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