France’s Macron starts tough talks with China’s Xi Jinping as EU-Sino relations are at a crossroads
French President Emmanuel Macron and European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen met Chinese language President Xi Jinping.
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Two of Europe’s heaviest weights in politics are holding talks with China’s President Xi Jinping at a time when the EU-Sino relationship is at a critical crossroads.
On the one hand, some in Europe want to develop nearer financial ties with Beijing. Alternatively, others are rising sorely involved about Beijing’s friendship with Russia.
“I’m satisfied that China has a significant position to play in constructing peace. That is what I’ve come to debate, to maneuver ahead on. With President Xi Jinping, we can even discuss our companies, the local weather and biodiversity, and meals safety,” French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned on Twitter, moments earlier than assembly the Chinese language chief.
“EU-China relations are in depth and sophisticated. How we handle them will affect EU prosperity and safety,” mentioned European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, who can also be in Beijing for talks with Xi.
China was the biggest supply of EU imports and the third largest purchaser of EU items in 2022, highlighting Beijing’s financial significance for Europe. That is notably related when EU financial progress is weak to the continuing conflict in Ukraine.
The 27-member bloc consequently walks a tightrope, trying to develop financial ties with China, but in addition to reaffirm a detailed political and cultural relationship with america. This job has grew to become notably troublesome because the U.S. administration ramps up its anti-Beijing rhetoric — extra so, within the wake of Russia’s invasion of its neighbor Ukraine, which has left Europe much more reliant on the U.S. for power and safety.
“Europe has converged rather a lot to the place of america,” Niclas Poitiers, a analysis fellow at Bruegel, instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Field Europe” Monday, including that Brussels needs to scale back dependencies on China. The EU was closely reliant on Russia for power, and it now needs to keep away from making comparable errors with different components of the world.
“Total, there’s a consensus that we have to do one thing about our overreliance on China and guarantee they do not blackmail small member states,” Poitiers mentioned.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met China’s President Xi Jinping final week. Europe’s prime international affairs diplomat, Josep Borrell, can also be heading to China subsequent week.