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Ambassador Zhang Ming: Joint Statement of China-EU Summit Marks a Victory to Both Sides

On 9 April 2019, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, President Donald Tusk and President Jean-Claude Juncker jointly hosted the 21st China-EU Summit in Brussels. A joint statement was published after the Summit. On 10 April, Ambassador Zhang Ming gave an exclusive interview to the South China Morning Post and commented on the joint statement.

Q: What do you think is the most important outcome of the Summit? It’s reported that the EU claimed a major victory, given that the joint statement contained industrial subsidies and other EU demands. What’s your comment?

A: Yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang, President Donald Tusk and President Jean-Claude Juncker hosted the 21st China-EU Summit. After the Summit, Chinese and EU leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation documents in the areas of energy and competition, and a rich and substantive joint statement was published. I agree that a victory could be claimed, not for one side, but for both sides.

The joint statement is not just a document of general positions. It has concrete substance. As Premier Li said at the press conference, the Summit yielded rich outcomes on both specific bilateral issues such as BIT and GI talks, and global governance issues like WTO reform, climate change and international and regional hotspots. The Summit clearly reflected the commitment of China and the EU to greater openness and cooperation, and to upholding multilateralism, the UN-centered international law and the fundamental norms governing international relations.

The Summit is significant in a global and long-term context. It bore out the strength of mutual respect, equal-footed dialogue and cooperation in a world of complexities. The China-EU relations have been set on a clear course with a fresh momentum, to the benefits of citizens from both sides. Closer cooperation is conducive to China’s opening-up, EU’s unity and prosperity, and global peace and stability.

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