Xi Jinping: China, EU Must Communicate Facing Global Turbulence

The importance China attaches to relations with the European Union is also demonstrated by its choice of France as the first stop on its European tour

Xi Jinping ai colloqui con Emanuel Macron e Ursula von der Leyen (a destra)

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to France is coming to an end. On Monday, May 6, the Chinese leader attended the summit along with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. During the talks, Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of working together for “healthy and sustainable growth” in bilateral relations between Beijing and Brussels, especially in the face of “the new period of turbulence and transformation” the world is up against. “As two great global powers,” President Xi Jinping emphasized, “China and the European Union should continue to regard each other as partners, remain committed to dialogue and cooperation, deepen strategic communication, and strengthen mutual trust.”

At a time when economic and commercial tensions are escalating between Beijing and Brussels, which accuses China of dumping and unfair competition, Xi Jinping suggested to his interlocutors that they abandon political dictate, especially regarding China’s strategic partnership with Russia. The West has asked Beijing several times to condemn the Russian military operation in Ukraine. “We always view relations with the European Union from a strategic and long-term perspective and hope that relations between China and France can help strengthen and prosper relations between China and the European Union, and vice versa,” Xi Jinping said stating that “Beijing always views relations with the European Union from a strategic and long-term perspective.”

Brussels has launched a series of investigations into the economic and commercial activities in Europe of the world’s second-largest economy in recent months, ranging from sales of electric cars to espionage allegations against electronics giant Huawei.

There should be fair competition between China and the European Union. As von der Leyen said after her meeting with Xi Jinping, “we discussed our trade and economic relations. I am convinced that if competition is fair, Europe will have a prosperous, long-lasting economy that will provide more good jobs. But today, of course, we also discussed the imbalances that remain significant and cause great concern. But China should know that European authorities will look after the security of European businesses, protect the European economy, and we will not hesitate to do so if necessary.”

Europe, the Chinese head of state finally said, is an “important partner” for China that is involved in the process of technological modernization: “The value placed on relations with Brussels is also demonstrated by the choice of France as the first stop on the European tour,” stressed Xi Jinping, who on Tuesday, May 7, will continue his European trip, the first in 5 years since the covid pandemic, to Serbia (May 7-8) and then conclude his European tour in Hungary (May 9-10).