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China and EU push for deeper ties in 'Intense and substantial' talks

China and EU Push for Deeper Ties in ‘Intense and Substantial’ Talks

BRUSSELS – The tenth round of high-level strategic discussions between China and the EU has been described as “intense and substantial” by the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell.
Borrell said: “The most important installment” of the three-hour video conference was that both sides remain committed to the EU-China 2025 Agenda.
The goal of the ongoing talks is to develop a strategy to build deeper ties between the two sides in everything from trade and investment to climate change and innovation.
“Our strategic dialogue was a very intense and substantial meeting,” said Borrell.
“China is, without a doubt, one of the main global players; this is a fact that China will increase its global role. And we have to commit ourselves to China to achieve our global objectives based on our interests and values.”
But while both sides remain committed to forging a deeper relationship, Borrell highlighted several unresolved issues, including a pending investment deal.
The EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement has been in process for almost seven years, but both sides remain divided on market access and a level playing field. The deal was signed at a historic September summit in Germany but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the investment, Borrell said he also expressed concern about China’s decision to create a new security law in Hong Kong, claiming that it risks undermining the One Country, Two Systems principle.
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, reveals the reason for the EU dialogue with China, “I put on the table the need for China to reduce the situation and respect international commitments under the basic Hong Kong law,” he said.
Borrell said that his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, reiterated Beijing’s view that the legislation does not jeopardize the One Country, Two Systems principle and is instead a way to increase security.
Despite some differences, Borrell described several areas of agreement. He expressed his appreciation for China’s support in trying to keep the Iran nuclear deal intact despite the US withdrawal.
He added that both sides agreed that stability in Afghanistan needed to be maintained as the United States prepares to withdraw troops from the country in mid-July. This tenth round of dialogue will help lay the groundwork for an EU-China summit expected to take place later this month.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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