EU asked to avoid ‘neg­a­tive sig­nals’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By MO JINGXI mo­jingxi@chi­

China hopes Ger­many and the EU will avoid send­ing con­fus­ing and neg­a­tive sig­nals when in­tro­duc­ing new reg­u­la­tions af­ter Ger­many tight­ened for­eign takeover rules in key sec­tors, a For­eign Min­istry spokesman said on Fri­day.

Ger­many’s Cabi­net agreed on Wed­nes­day to tighten scru­tiny on com­pany takeovers in strate­gic in­dus­tries by buy­ers out­side the EU, be­com­ing the first Euro­pean Union coun­try to tighten its rules on for­eign cor­po­rate takeovers.

The new reg­u­la­tions will al­low the Ger­man gov­ern­ment to block takeovers if there is a risk of crit­i­cal tech­nol­ogy be­ing lost over­seas. The rules will take ef­fect shortly with no need for par­lia­men­tary ap­proval in a bid to pro­tect crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing power grids and hos­pi­tals, Reuters re­ported.

“China is con­cerned about re­lated moves of Ger­many and the EU. We hope they are care­ful and avoid be­ing in­flu­enced by the trend of pro­tec­tion­ism, and avoid send­ing con­fus­ing and neg­a­tive sig­nals to the out­side,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news con­fer­ence in Beijing.

In re­cent years, China’s trade and busi­ness links with Ger­many and the EU have achieved pos­i­tive re­sults, “which is ob­vi­ous to all”, he said. They have brought real ben­e­fits to the com­pa­nies and peo­ple of both sides, as well as boost­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, Geng said.

“Un­der the cur­rent global sit­u­a­tion,” he said, “China is will­ing to work with Ger­many and the EU to pro­mote trade lib­er­al­iza­tion and in­vest­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tion based on the prin­ci­ple of mu­tual ben­e­fit and com­mon de­vel­op­ment.”

At the same time, Reuters cited sources say­ing that sev­eral Ger­man com­pa­nies in talks with po­ten­tial buy­ers from China are still push­ing ahead with ne­go­ti­a­tions, un­de­terred by the new rules.

Four Ger­man firms that sell to ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers — FFT, Eisen­mann, ZF Body Con­trols and Eiss­mann Au­to­mo­tive — are talk­ing to po­ten­tial Chi­nese buy­ers but do not ex­pect gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence, the re­port said on Thurs­day.

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