Amid threats from US over the trade deal in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and with countries like South Korea and Japan looking at alternatives for investment, Beijing is now offering greater market access and “more favourable investment environment.”
China’s ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, in an exclusive interview with News18, refuted claims that there would be a flight of capital in the post Covid-19 phase from China and said that it was "not consistent with facts.”
Ambassador Weidong cited a joint survey report by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and other institutes to support his statement. The survey, which was released in April shows that 70% of the respondents – US enterprises in China – would not move production line and business out of China and opposed "China-US economic and trade decoupling.”
But he later went on to add that “China will continue to relax restrictions on market access and strive to create a more favourable foreign investment environment,” hinting at concerns in Beijing over the issue.
He also said that China hoped that the Indian side would treat Chinese enterprises in India equally and create an open, fair and equitable business environment.
China is being cornered over allegations of suppressing information and the World Health Organization too has been accused of showing a “dangerous China bias” by the US. Against this backdrop, reports of substandard PPEs and testing kits supplied by China have added to the trouble.
In India, several complaints surfaced about rapid testing kits supplied by Chinese companies Wondfo and Livzon being faulty, after which the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had to suspend surveillance testing. To these allegations, Ambassador Weidong said that unless such kits are handled “professionally” it would be unfair to call them “faulty”.
He also said that China is making "greater efforts to supply the international market with API (Active pharmaceutical ingredients), daily necessities, epidemic prevention materials and other products.”
China, he said, is doing its bit to revive the global economy after the major setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by "maintaining the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador Weidong also refuted charges by the US Secretary of State that the novel coronavirus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He said, “Experts from the US, Germany, Sweden, Japan and other countries pointed out that there is no evidence of lab making or leaking of the virus and even the best lab in the world cannot produce such a virus.”
In an interview with ABC News last week, Mike Pompeo said that China had a “history of running substandard laboratories” and that there is “significant evidence that this (novel coronavirus) came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
The US has indicated that the virus may have escaped from WIV due to negligence and lack of transparency but has not said that the virus was “lab-made.”