Beijing, March 13: China on Wednesday urged the European Union not to turn “beneficial competition” between the two partners into a “rivalry” after Brussels outlined a shift to more assertive relations with Beijing.
Top European policymakers on Tuesday released a 10-point plan for addressing relations with Beijing as fears grow about Chinese investment and influence on critical infrastructure, including new communication technology.
China is both a cooperative partner and an “economic competitor in pursuit of technological leadership, and a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance,” the EU said, outlining its plan.
On Wednesday, China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded, saying: “In the era of globalisation, benign competition will exist between different economic systems.
“We don't want competition to turn into a rivalry type of competition.”
The EU is concerned about China's failure to open up its markets to foreign competitors and the distorting influence of subsidies for state-run enterprises, among other issues.
European leaders will be asked to sign off on the 10-point plan when they meet next week in Brussels, with senior officials urging them to take action to protect EU values and standards.
Lu said Beijing hopes Brussels can view “China's new round of reform and opening up in an objective, fair and rational manner, and work with China to continuously promote China-EU relations”.
Tuesday's proposals include measures to push Beijing to agree to reforms of World Trade Organization rules, particularly on subsidies and forced transfers of technology.