BUSINESS China-EU negotiations on BIT proceeding smoothly now: Foreign Ministry

BUSINESS

China-EU negotiations on BIT proceeding smoothly now: Foreign Ministry

Global Times

21:14, December 24, 2020

Flags of the EU fly in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, June 30, 2020. The Council of the European Union (EU) on Tuesday adopted a recommendation to lift entry restrictions for residents of some third countries starting Wednesday, and the United States is noticeably shut out. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

China's Foreign Ministry (FM) refuted some Western media reports claiming that Chinese demands on nuclear power investment are complicating EU-China BIT talks, dismissing those reports as "fake news".

The China-EU bilateral investment agreement (BIT) is a mutually beneficial agreement conducive to promoting China-EU trade liberalization and investment facilitation. The agreement will be balancing the concerns of both sides and promoting the healthy and stable development of China-EU economic and trade relations, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the FM, told a press briefing on Thursday.

"As far as I know, the BIT negotiations are now proceeding smoothly," Wang said.

The remarks followed a report by German media outlet WirtschaftsWoche published Wednesday which claimed negotiations between the EU and China concerning the BIT have stalled at the last stretch due to China raising additional demands on nuclear energy investment.

Another sticking point reported by Western media is EU attitudes to Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, with some EU members falsely claiming China is engaged in so-called "forced labor", which offers an obstacle to the BIT progress.

The so-called "forced labor" in Xinjiang is fabricated, as Chinese government has been consistently opposed to forced labor, Wang responded to France's opposing EU-China deal over so-called forced labor in Xinjiang. The spokesperson said that this kind of baseless rumor-mongering should be condemned, and those responsible should be held accountable.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday when meeting envoys to China from the EU and 27 of its member states in Beijing, that "the two sides have formally signed the China-EU agreement on geographical indicationsm, and are expected to finalize the China-EU investment agreement," according to Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese officials have reiterated the nation's hope to conclude the negotiations within this year. The BIT talks are among China's most important trade and economic negotiations, which started in 2013.

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