The Chinese government canceled the visit to China of Josep Borrell, the head of the European Union’s foreign policy, planned for next week. According to the EU spokesperson, Beijing did not give a reason for the resignation. The timing is also interesting because Europe is currently working to reduce the risks arising from its close economic relations with China.
European Union leaders have repeatedly referred to China as an “economic competitor and systemic rival” recently.
Borrell was scheduled to travel to Beijing on July 10 to meet with his Chinese counterpart. On the agenda of their meeting is such strategic issues such as human rights and the war in Ukraine were included. This information was made public by Jorge Toledo, the EU’s ambassador to China, on Sunday.
In his speech at the World Peace Forum in Beijing, Ambassador Toledo also mentioned that in September China and Europe are planning two face-to-face talks. These discussions will focus on the economy and trade, as well as digital matters, ahead of the leaders’ summit scheduled for the end of the year.
The EU delegation first planned to travel to China in April, but then the visit had to be postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests.
In his unspoken speech to Beijing in April, Borrell said that the EU’s trust in China depends on its efforts for peace in Ukraine. Although China has expressed interest in brokering peace in Ukraine, its resolution issued earlier this year drew cautious responses from both Russia and Ukraine.
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