2020 started off as a breakthrough year for EU-China relations. Two official Summits planned – the first with EU leaders in Beijing and the second with European heads of state and government in Leipzig. Expected entry into force of a landmark agreement on geographical indications. Plans to conclude negotiations on the long-awaited Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. But the COVID-19 crisis has created new priorities for both, raising questions as to how the relationship will evolve in the months and years to come. This Strategic Conversation with Zhang Ming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union, will look at the future of EU-China relations in the ‘age of coronavirus’.
This new Strategic Conversations series invites key policymakers to share their views on a range of important and strategically relevant issues through interviews with senior thinkers on the Friends of Europe team.
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- What lessons has China learned from the crisis, and how will it apply this knowledge in case of future outbreaks?
- What has the impact been on negotiations towards a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, and what hope is there for this deal to be concluded before the end of the year?
- How will the situation affect EU-China relations going forward?
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union
Managing Director at New Horizons Project
Zhang Ming has had a long and distinguished career in the diplomatic service, specialising in West Asian and North African affairs. Starting his career by working in Chinese embassies in Yemen, Oman and Israel, he later became Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Kenya, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat. Prior to his appointment to Ambassador of the Chinese Mission to the EU, Zhang served as Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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