Photo by Ying Wu on Unsplash
The EU and China have both said that they wish to pursue “stable and constructive relations”.
The pledge comes amidst growing tensions surrounding China’s policy towards its near neighbour, Taiwan, and other issues.
European Council President Charles Michel met with China’s Prime Minister LI Qiang in the margins of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India.
Both sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues and confirmed their interest in “maintaining stable and constructive relations.”
After the short meeting, Michel, a former Belgian prime minister, confirmed the “shared interest” to hold a EU – China summit by the end of the year.
Michel said he wanted to stress “the importance” of holding high-level sectoral dialogues ahead of the summit.
These, it was noted, include the 10th EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, Strategic Dialogue on foreign policy, Digital Dialogue.
High-level dialogues, said Michel, have an important role to play in “delivering meaningful outcomes” for the summit.
The EU council president stressed that in particular the high-level political dialogue “is useful and necessary to foster mutual understanding and address the various challenges in the context of our bilateral relations, but also in the context of more global issues.”
A statement said, “The European Union is a political project founded on values and principles that we hold dear, such as democracy, human rights and human dignity. And it is these values that guide our international action.”
Michel also referred to the recent European Council discussion and conclusions on EU – China relations.
The EU and China, added the statement, “need to work together to tackle global challenges like fight against climate change, health pandemics and challenges of the world economy, especially the debt relief.”
It added, “EU and China are important trade and economic partners and we will continue ensuring that this relationship is balanced, reciprocal and mutually beneficial.
“The EU will continue addressing critical vulnerabilities and diversifying where necessary and appropriate without undermining crucial economic interests.”
Both sides also discussed the global consequences of “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”, especially the food and energy security.
Michel said he “welcomed” China’s condemnation of the threat to use nuclear weapons and noted that China, as the UNSC member, has a “special responsibility to secure global peace and stability, as well as the respect for international law.”
The Belgian went on to confirm that the One China Policy is a “fundamental principle”of the EU – China relationship.
“At the same time, the EU naturally has economic ties with Taiwan,” added the statement.