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Chinese diplomat urges EU to stick to principles

By CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-30 10:14


China's top diplomat to the European Union has called for the bloc to treat Chinese companies such as Huawei in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

Zhang Ming, the head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, made the comment in an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday, according to a transcript provided by the Chinese mission.

Zhang, a former vice-foreign minister, said that he is not saying that the EU must accept or reject a certain company from a certain country. "But it is important for the EU to keep to the very fundamental principles of multilateralism, free trade and market economy. It's important for them to stand by the principles of openness, fairness, justice and non-discrimination," he said.

He emphasized that these are principles that the EU has long held dear to its heart. "So I hope on these matters of principle, the EU would not be ambivalent but be unequivocal. Otherwise there will be serious market distortions," he said.

"That will bring chaos to the world," he warned, citing the US allegation that European cars pose national security threats.

US President Donald Trump enraged European leaders in May by declaring European car imports a national security threat. He also threatened to slap on punitive tariffs.

The US government has also intimidated EU member states, warning that if they include Huawei in their 5G networks, they will face consequences from the US, such as the termination of intelligence sharing.

EU member states are expected to publish their final recommendations for security checks regarding 5G suppliers in January. Huawei, which has a major presence in the European telecom market, is a global leader in 5G technology.

Zhang described 5G technology as a result of global innovation and cooperation that could deliver benefits to all.

He warned against the tendency of politicizing cybersecurity, saying that some people believe that any country or its enterprise of a different social system or value system is suspect and must be restricted, brought down and boycotted.

He said such a tendency is not in line with the principle long held by the EU, citing Microsoft founder Bill Gates' recent comment that if Americans are skeptical about Huawei, then there is a reason for the Chinese to suspect the US administration of manipulating an engine of a Boeing aircraft.

In an article on the Politico website earlier this month, Abraham Liu, Huawei's chief representative to the EU Institutions, said Huawei wants to help Europe achieve technological leadership while enabling it to achieve its digital sovereignty by safeguarding data protection and privacy rights and improving cybersecurity.

He described Europe as the natural 5G leader with its most advanced operators and a world-leading industrial base. "This, married with the best 5G innovators-with Huawei as a full partner-means that Europe can shape the world's 5G landscape," he said.

Liu believes 5G will contribute to achieving the Green Deal rolled out by the new European Commission that aims to make EU the first carbon neutral continent by 2050.

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