EU’s unjustified sanctions strain China-EU relations: FM spokesperson

BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) — China is unwilling to see the current difficulties in China-European Union (EU) relations caused by EU’s unjustified sanctions and the responsibility does not lie with China, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday, adding it is hoped that the EU side will make serious reflections.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a query on the European Parliament’s resolution demanding China lifts sanctions on European lawmakers before the China-Europe investment deal can move forward.

Despite China’s solemn position and strong opposition, the EU disregarded facts, twisted right and wrong, and stubbornly made a wrong decision of unilateral sanctions based on lies and disinformation, Zhao said, adding what the EU has done constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, brazenly violates international laws and the basic norms of international relations, and severely undermines China-EU relations.

“China’s decision to sanction relevant EU entities and individuals who maliciously spread Xinjiang-related lies and disinformation and severely harmed China’s sovereignty and interests, is out of the need to safeguard its own interests. This is a necessary and legitimate reaction to the EU’s moves of imposing sanctions and seeking confrontation,” the spokesperson added.

China has the sincerity to advance China-EU relations, but will staunchly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, Zhao said, adding that sanction and confrontation will not be conducive to solving problems, and is not the way how comprehensive strategic partners should treat each other. “Dialogue and cooperation is the right way forward.”

He said the EU side should immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, abandon confrontational actions, properly manage differences through dialogue and communication, to overcome current difficulties and promote China-EU relations back to the right path of dialogue and cooperation.

Stressing the China-EU investment agreement is a balanced and win-win deal, rather than a “gift” bestowed by one side to the other, Zhao said China is sincere about advancing bilateral relations.

“We hope the EU side will work toward the same direction as China, and make the right decision that conforms to its own interests by relying more on rational thinking, rather than emotion,” he added.

In a brief response to media query regarding the issue, China’s Ministry of Commerce said the EU’s “freezing” of the ratification of the agreement does not conform to the common interests of both parties.



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