Chapuis says Europe needs Beijing’s support to address common threats

By Yao Lijuan Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/14 23:08:41

Nicolas Chapuis, European Union's (EU) new ambassador to China Photo: Yao Lijuan/GT

Europe must work with China to build a stable and prosperous foundation in a "shifting global situation," the European Union's (EU) new ambassador to China said on Friday, adding it's crucial not only to the EU and China but also to the rest of the world.

On his first press conference since assuming his post this week, Nicolas Chapuis on Friday vowed to bring China-Europe relations to a new level, and said the Europe-China summit held in July had set an ambitious agenda and roadmap to enhance ties between the two sides.

Chapuis said Europe needs and expects China's support to address threats they both are confronted with, noting that China and Europe could work together in terms of World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, negotiating the China-Europe Investment Treaty, and strengthening dialogue on global governance.

EU countries had reached an agreement earlier this year on a proposal that would broaden the powers of the European Commission to scrutinize foreign investments which are considered a measure to block Chinese acquisitions on the continent to protect Europe's strategic interests and advantages in certain technologies. 

"Europe actually wants more Chinese investments," Chapuis said. But Chinese companies should make sure their investments are "sustainable, would create jobs, benefit the people of our countries and will not affect our national security interests," he stressed.

Direct European investment to China hit a low in 2017 at 6 billion euros ($7 billion) compared to over 30 billion euro invested by China in Europe, according to data provided by EU.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday urged in his state of union speech the promotion of the euro as a global currency to challenge the US dollar's dominance. And French and German officials had recently suggested Europe should have an independent payment system to avoid US sanctions on Iran.

When asked if these actions prove that the EU is pursuing greater independence from the US to develop an "intact power" from "soft power," Chapuis said "Sure."

Chapuis has spent most of his diplomatic life dealing with China. It's his 6th time to work in China, the first five as a French diplomat.

Chapuis is also known as a sinologist who had studied ancient Chinese literature. He shared his love for famous Chinese poet Du Fu from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and recited his poem at Friday's press conference.
Newspaper headline: China-EU ties crucial to the world: envoy

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