The European Union should “independently pass judgment” on its stance on China amid deepening political coordination with the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday at the meeting. ‘a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“At present, China-EU relations face new development opportunities, but also different challenges,” Xi said, according to state-owned CCTV broadcaster. “China’s development is an opportunity for the EU. We hope that the EU can independently pass judgment and achieve strategic autonomy in the truest sense of the word.”
Xi stressed that China will remain open to German companies and urged Berlin not to impose restrictions on Chinese companies. “For five consecutive years, China has been Germany’s main trading partner,” Xi said. “We hope that Germany will remain open and expand … cooperation between businesses in our countries.”
The Chinese president’s appeal came amid icy China-EU relations, after Beijing imposed sanctions on members of the European Parliament after the EU put four Xinjiang officials on its sanctions list in response to human rights violations against the Uyghur minority.
The Chinese reading did not mention the sanctions or the EU-China investment deal, which was concluded towards the end of the German EU Council Presidency last year. Xi only said, “Last year we had several communications and played a leading role in China-Germany and China-EU relations … and were able to do something big and meaningful. “
Xi pledged to work with the EU on climate change and multilateralism, while opposing vaccine nationalism in his appeal to Merkel.
There is no immediate reading of the appeal from the Chancellor’s office. CCTV quoted her as saying that Berlin looks forward to working with Beijing to meet the challenges of the world.
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