中国驻比利时使馆注意到5月6日《欧盟观察网》发表题为《China suspected of bio-espionage in 'heart of EU'》的文章，称“中国借疫苗研发等科技领域合作在比从事生物间谍活动”、“中比科技园暗含经济间谍活动，将危及比高校及科技公司”、“布鲁塞尔自由大学孔子学院前中方院长在比建立广泛社交圈为中国进行间谍活动”等。有关内容引自4年前一份内容陈旧的内部报告，并非基于客观事实，多为主观臆想和推断。所谓“中国间谍威胁论”的报道并不新鲜，但这些报道后来都被证实是子虚乌有。这样的报道多次出现，对读者产生误导，其作用是消极的。
Dear Sir/ Madame,
The Embassy of China in Belgium took note of an article in EUobserver published on 6 May entitled “China suspected of bio-espionage in ‘heart of EU’ ”, which claims that China carries out bio-espionage in Belgium through vaccine development and S&T cooperation; China-Belgium Technology Center is a potential base for economic espionage undermining research results of universities and high-tech companies; former Director of the VUB Confucius Institute conducted espionage activities through a wide-ranging social network. Such claims, based on internal reports fours years ago, fall far from the truth, and are mainly based on conjectures and presumptions. The so-called “Chinese espionage menace” is nothing new and has time and again been proven fictitious. Repeated appearance of such reports only serves to mislead the readers and have negative effects.
China develops friendly cooperation with all countries including Belgium on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits. As an important part of our bilateral relations, China-Belgium technology cooperation has always followed the principle of mutual benefits. The two governments have signed science and technology cooperation agreements, and established cooperation mechanisms such as the S&T innovation dialogue and the joint commission on scientific and technological cooperation. All scientific cooperation projects are carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations of the two countries. They are open and transparent, and have brought tangible benefits to the people. The Chinese and Belgian enterprises and people have the most say. The China-Belgium Science and Technology Center mentioned by the article is a project aimed at facilitating the development of incubating technologies and exchanges between China and Belgium. It is a project that is written into the joint declaration of the two countries in 2014 and endorsed by national leaders and governments of both sides. It is irresponsible to force espionage charges upon rightful S&T cooperation. Many companies including high-tech firms joined the trade mission led by Princess Astrid to China last year. Many Belgian and European research institutes carry out R&D and production activities in China. Should their operations in China also be questioned?
China and Belgium have our respective strengths in the S&T domain. China has taken the lead in some areas. China-Belgium S&T cooperation particularly in the fight against the virus benefits both sides. Stigmatizing normal scientific and technology cooperation does not fit with the broader picture of China-Belgium cooperation against the COVID-19 and runs counter to good reason and are unjustified.
People-to-people exchanges are an important way to enhancing mutual understanding and trust between different countries and people. China-Belgium education cooperation and cultural exchanges are part of our thriving bilateral relations and personnel exchanges. Regarding Professor Song Xinning, the former Chinese Confucius Institute Director at VUB, the Belgian Aliens Litigation Council has recently ruled in favor of Professor Song’s appeal against the Belgian Immigration Bureau’s travel ban against him. His travel restriction into the Schengen region has been lifted since the date the ruling took effect.
It is hoped that people will view China and China-Belgium relations in an objective light, and together we will work for even stronger China-Belgium relations and contribute to international cooperation against the coronavirus with concrete actions.