Ambassador Zhang Ming's Exclusive Interview with the Financial Times
2019年12月19日，駐歐盟使團團長張明大使接受英國《金融時報》布魯塞爾分社長弗萊明（Sam Flemming）和記者皮爾（Michael Peel）專訪。實錄如下：
On 19 December, 2019, Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU sat down with Sam Flemming, Brussels Bureau Chief of the Financial Times (FT), and Michael Peel, FT's European diplomatic correspondent, for an exclusive interview. The following are extracts:
FT: First of all, thank you for seeing us.
Zhang: My pleasure.
FT: We have a lot to talk about. So maybe I start the questions. This is an important time obviously for European Union-China relations ahead of the Summit in Leipzig just coming up next year. And there's clearly a lot of attention on the EU-China Summit goals from earlier this year. We heard from Commission Director-General Sabine Weyand earlier this year about the investment treaty talks. We are interested in asking you about this, because she certainly suggested that these talks have not been going as well as the European Union had expected and she suggested not as well as China's communications have suggested. I wonder if you could clarify where we are on this, and do you think she's wrong?
Zhang: Both China and the EU attach great importance to cooperation between the two sides. Last April, we had a successful China-EU Summit. We did it together. After the summit, we published a very substantial joint statement. In the past eight months, my colleagues and I have been busy in turning the joint statement into concrete actions.
In May, just one month after the summit, the two sides signed two civil aviation safety agreements. This is a meaningful step. The agreements are foreseen to create 11,000 job opportunities for both sides in the coming eight years. Last month in Beijing, the two sides initially signed the geographical indications agreement. This is another meaningful step we have taken together. This is China's first high-standard and comprehensive GI bilateral agreement signed with another entity. It includes over 270 GI products. I was there at the signing ceremony and Commissioner Phil Hogan signed this agreement on the EU's behalf. Even today I could clearly remember our excitement on that day.
The negotiation of the investment agreement tops our economic agenda. The negotiation is speeding up now. DG Weyand made the remarks you mentioned on 17 December, and the next day, on 18 December, another formal round of negotiation took place in Brussels. The negotiation is still going on, as we speak. According to the schedule, in the middle of next month, there will be another formal round of talks. Personally, I am optimistic about the future prospects of the negotiation. The reasons are as follows:
First of all, high-level leaders from both sides have given sufficient political commitment to this. You may have noticed that on many occasions in the past months, President Xi Jinping has reiterated that it is important for both sides to work together to reach a high-quality and balanced investment agreement. The second reason for my optimism is that such an agreement serves the interests of both sides. So why not do that?