EU's Borrell to visit Beijing, wants stronger ties with China ties after call with Wang Yi

EU's Borrell to visit Beijing, wants stronger ties with China ties after call with Wang Yi
Fecha de publicación: 
7 August 2023
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The European Union's Josep Borrell said both he and China's Wang Yi want to strengthen EU-China relations, after the bloc's foreign policy chief shared a call with the Chinese foreign minister.

"We discussed the upcoming Strategic Dialogue in Beijing in preparation of the EU-China Summit," Borrell said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding that they also exchanged views on Niger and on the Jeddah meeting on Ukraine.

Beijing also confirmed that Borrell would visit China this autumn after the trip's original postponement.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Wang Yi told Borrell that "China welcomes" the EU diplomat and his delegation "to visit and have a strategic dialogue this autumn to prepare for the [bilateral] leaders summit through extensive and deep exchanges." The dialogue is comes ahead of an EU-China summit set to happen before the end of the year.

Beijing added that Borrell said he looked "forward to visiting China and carrying out strategic dialogues as soon as possible to prepare for the EU-China leaders summit."

During the phone call, Wang said China had always been "optimistic about promoting relations with the EU and highly valued the meetings between Chinese and European leaders that were planned in the year."

"We look forward to the summit, which would lead the way of China-EU relations and bilateral cooperation strategically," he said.


Saudi summit

Wang and Borrell's call follows an international meeting in Saudi Arabia at the weekend on the Ukraine crisis, where more than 40 countries, including China and European countries – but not Russia – took part in negotiations. China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the talks on finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict had helped "to consolidate international consensus."

Beijing had sent its Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs and former ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, who in May toured six European capitals to find common ground for an eventual political settlement of the conflict. Li "had extensive contact and communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis... listened to all sides' opinions and proposals, and further consolidated international consensus," the foreign ministry said.

"All parties positively commented on Li Hui's attendance, and fully backed China's positive role in facilitating peace talks," a statement said.

China will continue to strengthen dialogue based on its 12-point peace proposal, and "accumulate mutual trust," it said.

The two-day meeting in Jeddah was part of a diplomatic push by Ukraine to build support beyond its core Western backers by reaching out to Global South countries that have been reluctant to take sides in a conflict that has hit the global economy.

Beijing has tried to remain neutral on the Ukraine crisis, offering its own peace plan, which has received a generally positive response in both Russia and Ukraine.

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