China-EU talks: Europe talks Tacheles with Beijing

Monday was a day of truth in the relations between the European Union and China. Actually, for the two sides to decide their "Agenda 2025", the objectives for

China-EU talks: Europe talks Tacheles with Beijing

Monday was a day of truth in the relations between the European Union and China. Actually, for the two sides to decide their "Agenda 2025", the objectives for the next five years. So they had agreed to it a year ago, and the EU had confirmed high representative for foreign Affairs Mr Josep Borrell just two weeks ago as the "most important result" of the summit. But that brought nothing. No Agenda, no written statement, not even a joint press conference, as was-to personal Meeting-usual. The President of the Council and the Commission, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, came alone in front of the cameras. For six hours they had lectures via Video, with the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, then with President Xi Jinping.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, Nato and the Benelux countries, based in Brussels.

F. A. Z.

That Xi took one and a half hours, was on Monday still the best news. Actually, the President in this Format is not provided. He should have his appearance at the "big" China summit, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in September in Leipzig had planned. But this Premiere, for the first time, all 27 heads of state and government, has been postponed. Because of the "pandemic situation overall," as it was called. The preparations were Stalled. In Brussels, those were, the warned that the EU put itself under time pressure. In addition, Ursula von der Leyen belonged to.

Complex relations

The relations between Europe and China were complicated for some time. In March of last year, the EU spoke for the first time that China is a multi-lateral partners and economic competitors, but also a "system rival". So it became clear that Europe stands on the side of America when it comes to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Since then, the relationship has become even more difficult; the Corona-crisis acted as a catalyst and welding the member States together. The EU started an investigation at the world health organization, which should clarify how the Virus broke out in Wuhan. Just recently, the EU Commission complained that Beijing "disinformation campaigns" and "influence operations" is waging against member States. And, now, the escalation comes around Hong Kong.

Updated Date: 22 June 2020, 19:19

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