SOURCE / ECONOMY
Chinese diplomat warns Germany, EU against targeting businesses
Diplomat warns Germany, EU against targeting Chinese firms
Published: Sep 15, 2021 10:13 PM
Wang Weidong, commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Germany Photo: Web

Wang Weidong, Chief of the Economic and Commercial Department at the Chinese Embassy in Germany Photo: Web



A senior Chinese diplomat on Wednesday issued a stern warning to Germany and the EU over their discriminatory actions against Chinese businesses, vowing that China will not "sit idle" regarding such actions and urging relevant parties in Europe to not take a condescending attitude toward China and behave like a teacher. 

The warning from Wang Weidong, Chief of the Economic and Commercial Department at the Chinese Embassy in Germany, came as reports of German and EU officials seeking to intensify scrutiny of Chinese businesses and adopt a more hostile approach toward China amid growing pressure from the US. Analysts said that Wang's remarks signal that China will take countermeasures if officials in Europe move to crack down on Chinese businesses. 

"Some people in the EU bloc regard China as an imaginary enemy by planning and introducing restrictive measures, including screening foreign investment, supply chains and imposing a carbon border tax," Wang said at an online event - "China Day 2021" - held by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany on Wednesday.

"There is nothing wrong in the legislation itself… but we are worried that such policies are being abused and distorted by political factors, which will disrupt trade between China, Germany and the EU and result in restrictive measures against Chinese firms," Wang said.

Wang warned that if fake news about China continued to influence public opinion in the bloc, small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany will pay as they may make wrong China-decisions and lose opportunities in the booming market.

Duan Wei, secretary-general of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany, said that Chinese enterprises are subject to mounting uncertainties across their operations in Europe and Germany due to stricter controls on investment. "We criticize such attitude," he said,

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the fast lane between China and Germany has helped a great number of German business representatives return to their workplaces in China but Chinese companies have encountered difficulties when applying for visas for their employees, according to Duan.

"Some Chinese companies were thinking: why German entrepreneurs were able to return to China, but we can't return to Germany?"

Wang's harsh words on Wednesday represent a stern warning to Brussels amid strained bilateral relations caused by the EU side and indicates that China may take countermeasures, if Brussels continues to flare up tensions without realizing the consequence, analysts said.

"Europe has deliberately set barriers that hurt bilateral relations. If they do not show intent to repair ties and continue with anti-China policies, China, which is crucial to Europe's post-virus economic recovery and supply chain stability, could show them the severe consequences," Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

An example of the EU's hostile approach toward China is a move to freeze the procedure to ratify the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), which was reached last year after years of negotiations and is set to boost bilateral cooperation.

Wang said at the meeting that the CAI is set to create more benefit for European companies than their Chinese counterparts. "We would love to see the deal coming into effect as soon as possible but the key to solve the problem lies in Europe, not China," he said.


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