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Ambassador: China’s greater openness to provide huge opportunities for China-EU cooperation

Updated: Apr 26,2018 9:24 AM     Xinhua

BRUSSELS — China’s greater openness will provide huge opportunities for China-EU economic and trade cooperation, Chinese ambassador to the bloc has said.

Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU made the remarks on April 23 in the communication with European Parliament’s International Trade Committee in Brussels.

“Looking ahead, it is not difficult to see that China’s greater openness will provide huge opportunities for China-EU economic and trade cooperation,” he said.

Emphasizing the mutually beneficial nature of the China-EU economic and trade relations, Zhang said, 40 years after China started reform and opening-up, China-EU trade and investment combined have increased by nearly 250 folds, and “such a growth would be impossible if it were not mutually beneficial”.

He said there are indeed some issues in the economic and trade relations but he underlined that the issues only take up a very small part of the overall cooperation worth nearly $1,000 billion.

“With open and smooth channels of communication, China and the EU could seek solutions through friendly consultation. We also believe, to solve problems, we must look ahead, not looking back,” the ambassador said.

“If one retreats back into the tower of protectionism, he would certainly miss the lovely spring outside,” he added.

He told the MEPs opening-up was key to China’s economic and social development in the past 40 years, and by the same token, the high-quality development of China can only be achieved through greater openness.

Earlier this month, China has announced further measures to significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen IPR protection and expand import.

“As we gradually implement these measures, China will enter a new phase of opening-up,” Zhang said.

The ambassador noted China have just set clear time frames for revising the negative list on foreign investment, easing restrictions on the establishment of foreign financial institutions, and lifting restrictions on foreign equity shares in such industries as automobiles.

“For the China-EU economic and trade relations, opportunities are far more than challenges. To fully unleash the potential, a stable global economic environment, in particular a rules-based multilateral trading system, is of crucial importance,” Zhang said.

Given the rising trends of unilateralism and protectionism, as well as the international uncertainties, Zhang stressed a stable China-EU relationship is of great value.

He called on the EU and China, both major members of the WTO and comprehensive strategic partners for each other, to stand up together with a clear-cut stance against unilateralism and protectionism, preserve the rules-based multilateral trading system, and sustain the sound momentum of global economy.

“This is our joint responsibility, and we need to act together to make that happen,” he said.

Facing unilateralism and protectionism, Zhang believes one thing is certain that compromise or policy of appeasement for the sake of short-term interests will weaken economic globalization, undermine the multilateral trading system, and hurt the fundamental interests of all members of the international community.