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Ambassador Zhang Ming: the EU should stand by principles on the issue of 5G

On 19 December 2019, Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, gave an exclusive interview to the Financial Times. On the issue of 5G, he said that the EU should stand by principles, not be ambivalent but be unequivocal. Otherwise there will be serious market distortions.

Ambassador Zhang pointed out, “I am not trying to say 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. These are principles that the EU has long held dear to its hearts.” “Today these distortive measures may be applied to 5G technology, and maybe in the future, they would be applied to furniture or even carpets. That will bring chaos to the world. Actually similar things are already happening. For example, Americans are saying that European cars are national security threats to them. It’s ridiculous,” Ambassador Zhang added.

Ambassador Zhang observed that in the area of 5G cyber security, several tendencies deserve vigilance. The first tendency is to politicize cyber security. People holding such view believe that any country or its enterprise of a different social system or value system has to be suspected and restricted, brought down and boycotted.

The second tendency is to abuse the concept of national security. Some politicians or even senior government officials are taking advantage of the public’s legitimate concerns of technological security. They are repeatedly telling security lies when there is a lack of solid evidence or even the most basic knowledge of technology. They are trying to spread panic among the public. Their purpose is simple. They want to make an issue of security to bring down their imaginary adversary.

The third tendency is to unilateralize the concept of national security. Some forces are trying to resort to unilateral security measures or even touting the idea of decoupling.

These tendencies are not in line with the EU’s principles. They will only hold back technological innovation and are harmful to all.

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