China exerts additional pressure on the European Union to issue a joint statement against President Donald Trump’s trade policies at a summit later this month, Reuters reported.
According to a report by Reuters, in meetings in Brussels, Berlin and Beijing, senior Chinese officials, including Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, have suggested an alliance between the two economic powers and offered to open more of the Chinese market in a gesture of goodwill.
One of the suggestions is for China and the European Union to launch coordinated retaliation measures against the United States at the World Trade Organization.
However, the European Union, which is the world’s largest trading bloc, has rejected the idea of allying with Beijing against Washington, five EU officials and diplomats told Reuters, ahead of a Sino-European summit in Beijing on July 16-17.
The EU officials said that the summit is only meant to produce a modest communique, which will strengthen the commitment of both sides to the multilateral trading system and promises to set up a working group on modernizing the WTO.
Meanwhile, Reuters wrote that Vice Premier Liu He has said privately that China is ready to set out for the first time what sectors it can open to European investment at the annual summit, expected to be attended by President Xi Jinping, China’s Premier Li Keqiang, and top EU officials.
Chinese state media on several occasions stated that the European Union is on China’s side.
“China wants the European Union to stand with Beijing against Washington, to take sides,” said one European diplomat. “We won’t do it and we have told them that.”