Spain: We value relationship with US but can’t ignore China

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Washington, Apr 11 (EFE).- Nadia Calviño, Spain’s deputy prime minister and economy minister, on Tuesday said that her country values its relationship with the United States but added that Madrid cannot ignore or turn its back on China because Beijing is a “key trade partner.”

In her speech at an event organized by the Atlantic Council in Washington, on the margins of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Calviño responded in that manner to a question about whether the relationship of the European nations with the US is being put to the test by those countries’ ties with China.

After declaring the need to “protect” the “strength” of the trans-Atlantic relationship, Calviño defended the recent trip by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Beijing, where she said he had a “frank exchange” of view with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Spain and its European partners cannot turn their backs on China or try to ignore it, given that it is a “key trade partner and important player” in the world economy, the deputy PM and economy minister said.

In addition, she said that Spain shares with China an “interest” in ensuring that the war in Ukraine ends “as quickly as possible” while avoiding a “fragmentation” of the world market that would mean a “loss for everyone, for the whole world.”

The Spanish official acknowledged, in any case, that a “massive change in direction” is under way amid the “tectonic plates” of the international geopolitical order, adding that she hopes that this shift does not mean “moving backwards instead of continuing to progress” on the world level.

EFE –/bp

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