-- The start of 2021 is distinguished by the implementation of the landmark China-European Union (EU) bilateral agreement on protecting 100 European Geographical Indications (GIs) in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against usurpation and imitation.
-- "The EU-Chinese agreement on geographical indications expands the list of products protected and recognized in our two markets," said Vincent Perrin, director general of Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, a trade association representing the interests of independent Champagne producers and Champagne houses.
-- Apart from the GIs already listed, the agreement will expand, in the upcoming four years, to cover additional 175 GI names from both sides. In the extended lists, GIs representing traditional Chinese culture such as Xuan Paper, Huangmei Cross-stitch, Shu Brocade and Qingshen Bamboo Weaving will be included, with bilateral cultural exchanges likely to be boosted.
File photo taken on June 10, 2019 shows a vineyard in the Champagne region near Reims, France. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
The start of 2021 is distinguished by the implementation of the landmark China-European Union (EU) bilateral agreement on protecting 100 European Geographical Indications (GIs) in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against usurpation and imitation.
According to the agreement, the Chinese GI products protected in the EU include Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian bean paste), Anxi Tie Guan Yin (Anxi oolong tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Wu Liang Ye (Wuliangye liquor), while the EU list protected in China includes Cava (a wine from Spain), Champagne (a wine from France), Feta (a cheese from Greece), Irish whiskey, Munchener Bier (a beer from Germany).
Thanks to the agreement, GIs from both sides are protected in both markets where consumers can buy authentic Chinese or EU local products, most of which are wines, spirits and agricultural food products.
Besides the reciprocal trade benefits as well as introducing consumers to quality products from both sides, the agreement's implementation is expected to propel bilateral trade of high-quality products to new highs.
Photo taken on Jan. 6, 2021 shows Tie Guan Yin tea products displayed at a tea company in Anxi County, southeast China's Fujian Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Huaying)
Anxi Tie Guan Yin, a type of world-famous Chinese tea originating in the 19th century in southeast China's Fujian Province, is among the 100 Chinese GIs being protected from Jan. 1, 2021.
"After formal implementation of the agreement, Anxi Tie Guan Yin will enjoy the legal protection of its origin in the EU market and have the right to use the EU's official certification mark, which can effectively prevent counterfeiting," Liu Qingzhou, director of the Tea Industry Management Committee Office of Anxi County, Fujian Province, told Xinhua.
The agreement also eliminates worries about "the EU's high-quality specialty products to enter the Chinese market, allowing (Chinese) consumers to access high-quality European specialty products more easily to improve their quality of life," Liu stressed.
On the EU side, 100 GIs, French Champagne, have started to enjoy a higher degree of protection.
Standing "with our Chinese counterparts," the "100 + 100" model offers better protections for various GIs, said Vincent Perrin, director general of Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, a trade association representing the interests of independent Champagne producers and Champagne houses.
"Champagne is the most exported wine appellation in the world. And China increasingly recognizes the value of geographical indications: it has a very rich heritage of food and artisanal know-how, and consumers are increasingly looking for guarantees of authenticity," Perrin told Xinhua.
File photo taken on Aug. 27, 2019 shows bottles of Cognac liquor in Cognac, France. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
"The EU-Chinese agreement on geographical indications expands the list of products protected and recognized in our two markets," Perrin added.
"This agreement will guarantee the protection of 100 EU agri-food GIs on the Chinese market. This is a further step which testifies to the will of the European Union and China to work closely together," Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, told Xinhua.
He added that it is important to protect European GI products, renowned for their "quality and diversity," at both EU and global levels "in order to guarantee their authenticity and preserve their reputation for the satisfaction of Chinese consumers."
"The agreement... is extremely important for Europe and China since in return China will be able to use the European logo for its GIs as well. This recognition will allow Chinese producers to benefit from the economic development that a GI allows," Lameyse said.