China urges EU to work for normalizing bilateral ties

Beijing, July 9 (EFE).- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged European Union diplomatic chief Josep Borrell to remove all obstructions in pushing bilateral ties into a forward trajectory.

The two spoke during a virtual meeting on Thursday amid differences over the alleged harsh measures adopted by China in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

“China opposes all kinds of hypocritical lectures on the matter. China’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty is unshakable,” Wang told Borrel, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Wang told his EU counterpart that the two sides must seek common ground in resolving their differences.

“Mutual understanding must be reached and obstacles removed to promote healthy relationships on the right track.”

The European Parliament (EP) Thursday approved a resolution, calling for the freedom of detained journalists of Hong Kong daily Apple Daily.

The news outlet closed in June after the government accused it of publishing articles that violated the controversial national security law in Hong Kong.

The resolution also advocated the release of politicians and activists in detention for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The conversation between the two comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron supported the ratification of the investment agreement between China and the EU this week in a video conference with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry statement, Borrell said that the investment agreement was in the interest of both parties.

“Ït is expected that both parties will work on it,” he said.

However, he said the bloc “believes that international rules refer to the UN Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights.”

But “Brussels does not intend to engage in institutional confrontations,” he said.

“Europe adheres to its values but does not agree to the imposition of unilateral sanctions on other countries. The EU respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and does not support Hong Kong’s independence,” Borrell said, according to the statement.

The investment pact between the two parties appears to have run aground in the European ratification process amid US pressure.

The EU sanctioned four officials and a Chinese entity on March 22 for human rights violations in Xinjiang.

The sanctions, which followed a similar decision by the United States, were the EU’s first against China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

In retaliation, China sanctioned 10 Europeans, including five EU parliamentarians.


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