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Ambassador Zhang Ming Gives an Exclusive Interview to Bloomberg TV

On June 18, 2020, Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, gave an inclusive interview to Bloomberg TV. He answered questions about the national security legislation in Hong Kong, EU white paper on foreign subsidies, and COVID-19 vaccine development.

Regarding the European Parliament’s resolution on China’s national security legislation in Hong Kong, Ambassador Zhang stressed that Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, and the legislation for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong is entirely China’s internal affair. Non-interference is a basic principle of international law and international relations. Both the G7 foreign ministers’ statement and the European Parliament’s resolution are gross interference in China’s internal affairs, which China is firmly opposed to and would never accept.

Ambassador Zhang pointed out that in any country, safeguarding national security is an indispensable responsibility of the central government. No countries in the world, including those in Europe like the UK, France and Germany, would allow for any legal gaps in this regard. The NPC decision is a necessary step taken to close the legal loopholes regarding national security in Hong Kong. No double standards should be applied on this issue.

Ambassador Zhang noted that the national security legislation will only improve Hong Kong’s legal system, bring more social stability in the long run, and contribute to the sound implementation of “one country, two systems”. It will not change Hong Kong’s capitalist system, its high degree of autonomy under the Basic Law, or Hong Kong residents’ lifestyle. There are more than 2,300 EU companies and about 350,000 EU citizens in Hong Kong. The legislation is intended to punish a narrow category of acts seriously endangering national security, including those supporting “Hong Kong independence” and violent terrorists. It aims to strengthen rule of law, create a more stable and predictable business environment and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong, including those from European countries.

As for the EU white paper on foreign subsidies, Ambassador Zhang said that he had noticed the white paper published by the European Commission and would study it carefully. Many Chinese companies operating in Europe are worried about the EU’s “door-closing” tendency given its recent measures. It is hoped that the relevant EU measures will comply with the basic principles of the WTO, keep clear of protectionist moves, and refrain from creating new trade barriers under the pretext of subsidies, with a view to fostering a good business environment for foreign-invested enterprises. At this special moment when nations are joining forces in the fight against COVID-19, the EU needs to avoid sending negative signals to the outside world.

When asked about whether China would share COVID-19 vaccines with the world, Ambassador Zhang said that vaccine development requires global collaboration. President Xi Jinping declared at the 73rd World Health Assembly that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. China will honor this promise.

Ambassador Zhang also answered questions about China-EU high-level exchanges, China-EU investment agreement negotiation, China-U.S. trade deal, WTO reform, and disinformation about COVID-19.

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