Comments of the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands on the report of FTM and RTL

Recently, Dutch media FTM and RTL released a joint report on China’s investment in the Netherlands, expressing concerns of espionage, China dependence, unfair competition etc.  Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands has the following comments regarding this report.

We are happy to see China and the Netherlands are each other’s important investment and trade partners. This strong economic tie is based on mutual benefit, and openness. It is hard earned through joint efforts from people of our two countries, and should be cherished with special care. Both China and the Netherlands are supporters of openness, free trade and fair competition. We must stay on alert of the damage from politicization of normal economic cooperation.

China needs the world, needs Europe, needs the Netherlands, and vice versa. It is in our mutual interest to work for double wins. This interdependence is the spirit of globalization, which makes us stronger together. It is concerning to see the rhetoric of stretching the concept of security. Protectionism can only boomerang and decoupling will hurt both those who practice them and others.

The Netherlands may not be large in size, yet its business are really competitive, competitive because they go global. In this regard, China is important for Dutch business. Its market is the largest in the world. Besides, China has the talents, labour force, the complete and efficient supply chain, that are instrumental for Dutch companies to maintain its competitive edge and make money.

Likewise, the Netherlands is important for Chinese companies. Their success in the Netherlands can prove that their products meet all the requirements of a very developed country. Their investment is good for Dutch economy and they make their due contribution to employment and social welfare of the Netherlands.

We always encourage Chinese companies to observe Dutch laws and contribute to the Dutch society, we expect the Dutch companies in China to do the same. We welcome more Dutch companies to invest in China, the more the better. We do not exclude Dutch companies for security reasons simply because it is from the west. China will open only further.

Some people attribute China’s economic success to government intervention. That is not true. China’s economic development is basically the result of the reform and opening up policy, people’s hardworking and entrepreneurship. We are for fair competition. China’s subsidies are all in line with WTO rules in terms of level and mode. Both US and EU allocates huge subsidy for their electric vehicle and chip industries, we read little report on that.

Forced labor is strictly prohibited by Chinese law. Given the quality and quantity of China’s labour force, it just makes no sense, politically or economically, to use forced labour.  Recently, China handed over the Instruments of Ratification of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29) and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No.105) to the International Labour Organization. By completing the ratification of the two conventions of its own accord, China has once again made clear its resolute position on opposing and fighting against forced labor.

The accusations of Chinese espionage are not evidence-based, they are based on disinformation and bias. Many Chinese companies are world leaders in technology and innovation, we are firmly against espionage, and we are victims of espionage. Recently, concrete evidence has shown how some foreign agency stole tech info from Chinese universities through cyber attack.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Netherlands diplomatic relations. We have more potential to tap, and our cooperation in areas like climate change, digital economy, green development could make a difference to the world. Geopolitics should not get in the way of doing business.

Another comment on the report: Follow the Money, not Follow the Politics.