Talks come amid intensive diplomatic engagement between key economies
President Xi Jinping will meet via video link on Monday with European
Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula
von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the rotating chair of
the regional bloc, the Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The meeting comes amid intensive diplomatic engagement between China
and the EU countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic
recession due to the impact of the outbreak.
Xi had a video talk with the first two EU leaders in June, when they
and Premier Li Keqiang co-chaired the 22nd China-EU leaders' meeting via
video link. That was the first talk between Xi and the two new EU
leaders, who assumed their posts in December. He also had several
telephone talks with Merkel after the COVID-19 outbreak this year.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded his
five-nation European tour on Sept 1, which took him to Italy, the
Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party
of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign
Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, also visited Spain and
Greece last week.
Analysts said the upcoming meeting is significant not only for the
China-EU relationship, but will also help boost international confidence
in post-pandemic recovery amid mounting tensions between China and the
In a speech delivered at the French Institute of International
Relations on Aug 30, Wang said despite the difference in social systems,
China and the EU are meant to be comprehensive strategic partners, not
He called for building a partnership between China and the EU in
investment, green and digital economies, multilateral affairs and
countering the pandemic.
China and the EU both advocate multilateralism and are committed to
safeguarding the United Nations-centered international system, the
international order underpinned by international law, and the World
Trade Organization-centered multilateral trading system, officials said.
During the 8th China-EU High-Level Trade and Economic Dialogue held
via video link at the end of July, both sides recognized major progress
made in their negotiations on a bilateral Comprehensive Agreement on
Investment. They committed to concluding the negotiations and reaching a
high-level agreement within the year.
Yao Ling, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade
and Cooperation, said the positive results of the dialogue demonstrated
the common responsibility of China and the EU as significant economies
and the major driving forces of economic globalization to create a
margin of hope for a global economy impacted by the pandemic as well as
unilateralism and protectionism.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic ties between China and the EU. Due to COVID-19, a series of
planned events have had to be rescheduled. A summit of China and EU
countries planned for September in Leipzig, Germany, will be held later.
A summit between China and Central and Eastern European countries set
for the first half of the year in China was also postponed.
Observers said the global pandemic has become a catalyst for China
and the EU to reshape their relationship, and the huge interests they
share will bolster their cooperation in the post-pandemic era.
The EU was China's biggest trading partner from 2004 to 2019. In the
first half of 2020, it became the second largest after the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations.
Wang said in his speech in France that over the 45 years, "an
important experience we have gained is: China and the EU are entirely
able to enhance trust through dialogues on an equal footing, achieve
win-win outcomes through mutually beneficial cooperation, properly
address differences through constructive communications and jointly
tackle global challenges through stronger coordination".