EU to issue firm words at China summit with limited expectations

BRUSSELS: Prime EU officers will elevate an array of considerations from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to commerce irritants in a summit with Chinese language leaders on Thursday (Dec 7) that’s anticipated to be lengthy on agency phrases, however quick on outcomes.

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell meet Chinese language President Xi Jinping within the morning and Premier Li Qiang within the afternoon on their one-day go to to Beijing.

There will likely be no joint assertion from Thursday’s talks, EU officers mentioned, and they don’t anticipate concrete outcomes from the primary in-person EU-China summit since 2019.

“There’s not a single excellent deliverable that will likely be crowning the summit,” mentioned one EU official

In contrast, Xi’s meeting with US President Joe Biden in California in November did produce agreements, though simmering variations remained, notably over Taiwan.

The European Union will even have questions on Chinese language intentions in the direction of Taiwan, however its focus will likely be on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Union needs Beijing to make use of its affect on Russia to cease the conflict, will stress the necessity to respect sanctions on Russia and can elevate the difficulty of rising arms provide from North Korea to Russia.

The bloc can be involved about what it considers “imbalanced” financial relations, saying its close to €400 billion commerce deficit with China displays restrictions on EU companies.

China will likely be anticipated to ask about an EU anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese language electrical automobiles and concerning the EU’s “de-risking” coverage to cut back its reliance on Chinese language imports, notably of important uncooked supplies.

EU officers say the 2 sides might cooperate extra on motion to fight local weather change and to advertise biodiversity.

Additionally they level to a collection of dialogues arrange on macro-economics and commerce. These embody the EU’s deliberate CO2 emissions import tariff and the round economic system, a potential enhance within the variety of meals merchandise whose names can be protected – equivalent to solely making use of the time period “feta” to a selected Greek cheese.

“These aren’t per se main summit deliverables … however in sure areas, there are mutual pursuits and we are able to make a distinction by working technically and virtually collectively,” an EU official mentioned.

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