EU business group’s report blasted for biased criticism
Published: Sep 23, 2021 07:43 PM
Flags of the European Union fly outside the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 21, 2021. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

Flags of the European Union fly outside the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 21, 2021. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

A report from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China on Thursday was blasted for its biased criticism of China's economic policies that seek self-sufficiency and sustainable growth, as analysts noted that China has continued to open up its market rather than closing down. 

In its European Business in China Position Paper 2021/2022, the chamber criticized China's development goals under the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), saying its aim to increase self-reliance is "signs that China is turning inward."

Chinese analysts slammed such criticism as biased and completely ignorant of China's continued reform and opening-up efforts, adding that the report also turned a "blind eye" to the US' constant crackdowns against Chinese companies and supply chains.

"Their understanding is just so biased and completely wrong. Even as China pursues 'dual circulation' and self-reliance, it has not stopped opening up its market to foreign businesses and products. In fact, China has continuously expanded market access for foreign businesses and products,"  Mei Xinyu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of China's Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Mei also pointed out that China's economic policies and development goals are formed in the face of great uncertainty for the world economy and global trade, especially political risks from the US' protectionist policies, and they would not only help stabilize the Chinese economy but would also contribute more to the global economy. "How can they view this as something negative for them?" Mei asked.

The EU chamber's report comes as China-EU ties are at their toughest moment in over a decade after the European Parliament voted to freeze the procedure to ratify the China- EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in May. The CAI, said to be one of the biggest investment deals in the world, was agreed by both sides after years of negotiation. 

Analysts noted that the CAI would directly benefit EU businesses in the Chinese market and EU companies cannot afford leaving the Chinese market.

At a press conference on Thursday, Joerg Wuttke, president of the chamber, also said of EU firms that "you have to be in China to grow, you have to be close to demanding customers... If you are not at the table, you are on the menu." 

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