Xi says China, EU should boost communication, coordination

Beijing, Dec 1 (EFE).- Chinese president Xi Jinping told the European council president Charles Michel, at a meeting in Beijing on Thursday, that there were no “strategic differences or conflicts” between China and the European Union and that both parties should “strengthen communication” and “coordinate better” on macroeconomic matters.

“There are no real strategic differences or conflicts between China and the EU. We should strengthen macroeconomic coordination, jointly ensure a stable supply chain, build a framework for the digital economy and protect the environment,” Xi told Michel during their meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.

Xi added that it was in the common interests of China, the EU and the international community to maintain the upward momentum of China-EU relations and pursue mutual benefits.

“China will remain open to European companies and hopes the EU will eliminate interference and provide a fair and transparent business environment for Chinese companies,” he added.

The EC chief recalled that “reciprocity and a level playing field with no critical over-dependencies” were necessary for “a fair and just globalization.”

“These principles should be better embedded in the EU-China relationship,” Michel said after the meeting.

“We agreed to continue our exchanges in light of the next EU-China Summit in 2023.”

“The key is to respect each other’s concerns and interests, especially regarding sovereignty and territorial integrity, and not interfere in the other party’s internal affairs,” Xi added, just weeks after being sworn in for an unprecedented third term at October’s Communist Party Congress during which the leader vowed to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland.

According to Michel’s spokesman, the EU official “reiterated the EU’s commitment to its One China policy and recalled the EU’s longstanding position on the Taiwan Strait.”

The EC president also presented some challenges, such as those European companies face in China which have been “exacerbated ” by the pandemic, the spokesman added.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Michel stated that the EU would continue working towards an investment deal after European lawmakers froze the ratification of an investment pact with Beijing until China lifts sanctions on EU politicians.

The leaders also discussed the Covid-19 pandemic, amid the rare protests that have gripped several Chinese cities in recent days over Beijing’s zero-covid policy.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, Xi said a “political” solution was “in the best interests of Europe and all Eurasian countries.”

“China is always on the side of peace and will continue to play a constructive role in its own way,” he said, maintaining the party line of calling for peace but failing to condemn Russia over its involvement in the war.

The EU leader reaffirmed the shared responsibility the bloc and China have “to work to ensure respect of the United Nations charter and for peace.”

According to Michel’s spokesman, the EC chief urged China to help Russia end its “brutal destruction and occupation.”

Michel is expected to host a virtual press conference in Beijing on Thursday afternoon.

The EC president’s visit comes after German chancellor Olaf Scholz traveled to China in November. EFE


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