On Thursday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping engaged in discussions with European Union leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen during a meeting held in Beijing.
“Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing on Thursday,” reported state news agency Xinhua. The talks were held regarding the divisions between the bloc and its largest economic partner, which ranged from trade to ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
This year, the diplomatic engagement was ramped up by China and the EU so as to steer post-pandemic recovery and repair damaged relations, as a number of its commissioners visited Beijing to restart high-level dialogue.
The bloc said that it hopes the meetings being held between China’s top brass and the EU leaders on Thursday will give them a chance to discuss areas of common interest like health and climate change.
The leaders will also speak about more touchy topics, ranging from human rights and continued ties between China and Russia despite its war in Ukraine as well as the increasing trade gap between the two nations.
Beijing seeks to reassure Europe
This week, Von der Leyen had warned that the bloc will “not tolerate” that imbalance indefinitely. “We have tools to protect our market,” she said while speaking to AFP.
Hitting back, Beijing on Wednesday said that the efforts of the bloc to curb exports of China’s sensitive tech while balancing trade did not “make sense”.
Throughout the year, European officials have repeatedly said that they aim to “derisk” their economic ties with China after the Ukraine war exposed the energy dependence of the continent on Russia.