High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell answers questions during a press conference at European Commission Embassy in Beijing, China, 14 October, 2023. EFE-EPA/WU HAO

EU urges China to not base ties on relations with third parties

Beijing, Oct 14 (EFE).- The European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, has urged China to not view its ties with the EU through the lens of the bloc’s relations with others, and insisted that despite the differences between Beijing and Brussels, there was room for cooperation.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell (L), and Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, offer a joint press coference following the EU-China High-Level Strategic Dialogue, in Beijing, China, 13 October 2023. EFE-EPA/ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES / POOL

Borrell, finished a three-day China visit on Saturday after co-chairing the 12th strategic dialog between the two sides and took part in preparing for a summit towards the end of the year. He insisted that the EU took China “very seriously.”

“It is not a secret that we have differences on a number of important issues (…). Global challenges have to be addressed through strong cooperation between China and the EU,” the Spanish leader said,

Borrell said he also conveyed to Beijing that after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia posed a major threat for Europe’s security, and that Brussels is seeking more balanced trade ties with China, but this does not signify a desire for disengagement.

“We need fairness, balance and reciprocity in order to remain as open as we are and we want to be,” Borrell said, stressing the need for reducing excessive dependency, but insisting that “there is no conspiracy.”

The latest point of contention in bilateral ties is a probe that the European Commission launched last week to determine if China’s subsidies to its electric vehicle manufacturers were unfair and harmful for European firms.

On Ukraine, the high representative told Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi that the war was not just against Ukraine but affected the security for entire Europe.

“This war has a strong impact for the whole world in terms of food security and (it is) causing global instability,” said the Spaniard.

he urged China to “use its influence on Russia in order to reverse the decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” which would allow Kyiv to export cereals through its ports.

Moscow had withdrawn from the deal in July following an escalation in the conflict.

The climate emergency and the rising debts of emerging economies were the other topics on the agenda of the summit.

“I leave China after two intense days of work in Beijing and Shanghai,” Borrell said on X, formerly Twitter.

The visit took place finally after being canceled twice, first in April when the high representative tested positive for Covid, and later in July, when China’s former foreign minister Qin Gang resigned.

EU officials have ramped up visits to China since the country reopened its borders after lifting COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year. EFE