European Council president to go to China subsequent week for summit with Xi

European Council president Charles Michel will journey to Beijing for a gathering with Xi Jinping subsequent week, in a transfer prone to spotlight European divisions on how you can interact with China.

Michel, who represents the leaders of the EU’s 27 member states, will go to Beijing on December 1 to satisfy Xi and different senior Chinese language officers, the primary time an EU president has met Xi in China since 2018.

The journey, first reported by the Monetary Occasions, comes at an acutely delicate time for relations between China and western powers. Ties have been strained by Beijing’s failure to sentence Russia’s struggle in opposition to Ukraine, its posture in the direction of Taiwan and its crackdown in Hong Kong.

The Xi-Michel assembly follows a strategic dialogue amongst EU leaders final month on how you can modify the bloc’s relationship with China in mild of Xi’s more and more hardline insurance policies and deepening rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

Proponents of what one particular person briefed on the assembly stated would contain the “full-blown crimson carpet therapy” stated it was a part of efforts to maintain traces of communication open to China regardless of the rising pressure with western capitals.

“Towards the backdrop of a tense geopolitical and financial setting, the go to is a well timed alternative for each EU and China to have interaction. The EU and Chinese language leaders will focus on world challenges in addition to topics of widespread curiosity,” Michel’s workplace stated.

The go to follows a state visit by Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier this month that prompted disquiet amongst different EU member states, because the bloc wrestles with how you can toughen its method to Beijing.

It additionally follows a three-hour assembly between Xi and Joe Biden on the eve of the G20 summit in Bali this month, the place the US president stated he was searching for to responsibly handle the connection with Beijing.

Underneath stress from the US to stick to its extra hardline stance, Brussels is rethinking its engagement with China, with the intention of lowering a heavy economic reliance on Beijing. Washington and hawkish EU states see that as a serious vulnerability for European economies.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted soul-searching inside the EU about its relationship with China, as capitals realise that their idea of financial interdependence with Moscow completely failed to offer them any leverage over Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The EU should recalibrate its perspective to China and consider it as an all-out competitor with restricted areas of potential engagement, Brussels urged member states final month.

“China has grow to be a good stronger world competitor for the EU, the US and different like-minded companions,” the fee’s overseas coverage arm advised capitals. “It’s due to this fact important to evaluate how finest to answer present and foreseeable challenges.” 

Michel, who held a video name with Xi in April, stated on the Bali summit that the EU wanted to “rebalance” the connection with China, however that it was “essential to pay attention to one another, to develop a greater understanding”.

Human rights, local weather change, financial relations and world well being points are prone to kind a part of the talks, Michel instructed in October after the EU leaders’ dialogue.

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