Chinese Premier Le Keqiang in a video conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on April 1, 2022 in Brussels (POOL / Olivier Matthys)
The European Union warned Beijing on Friday that any support for Moscow to avoid Western sanctions would affect its economic ties with its largest trading partner, Europe, and urged Russia to end the conflict in Ukraine.
After a video conference interview with Chinese President Xi Jinping, European Commission President Ursula Van der Leyen said, “We have made it clear that sanctions (against Moscow) should not interfere.
While Beijing refuses to condemn the Ukrainian invasion, the EU wants to protect its “rock-solid” friendship with Moscow and prevent China from actively supporting Russia by increasing its purchases of hydrocarbons or providing financial assistance.
Ms Van der Leyne believes such support would “seriously tarnish China’s reputation in Europe”, where companies “see how countries position themselves” and that Beijing’s approach could affect “long-term investment decisions.”
“We hope that China will consider the importance of its international image and its economic relationship with the European Union,” said Charles Michael, President of the Council of Europe, who attended the virtual summit.
Europeans and Chinese are interdependent: the EU absorbs 15% of Asia’s largest exports, supplying manufactured goods and vital components. Twenty-seven to 10% of exports are represented by China, which is the main market for European entrepreneurs, especially Germany.
Ursula attacked Van der Leyen, saying “prolonging the conflict with obstacles in the world economy is of no use to anyone, of course not to China.”
Grzegorz Stec of the German firm Merix notes that Europeans are “seeking to influence the strategic calculations of Chinese leaders and highlighting the economic cost to them.”
– “Stabilizing Factors” –
Speaking to European leaders on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said senior Chinese diplomat Wang Ludong said Beijing “opposes both the hot and cold Cold War, prevents divisions and refuses to be a side force.”
According to a Chinese government press release, Xi Jinping called on the EU to “form its own opinion of China and pursue its own policy of autonomy.”
As for the communist regime, the Europeans dragged themselves into a conflict provoked by Washington, which exposed the effects of the West.
The nationalist daily Global Times warned on Thursday that Russia would be highly dependent on gas and that “Europe could be shooting itself in the face with US sanctions.”
Xi Jinping said that China and the European Union “must bring factors that stabilize major powers, major markets and major civilizations (…) into a turbulent world”, referring only to the passing of the “Ukrainian crisis” according to Chinese accounts. .
– “Illusion” –
“The idea of separating China from Russia is an illusion: once the war in Ukraine is over, America’s focus will return primarily to a non-friendly attitude, and therefore interested in maintaining its cooperation,” said Sylvie Berman, a former French ambassador to Moscow and Beijing.
Charles Michael (L), President of the European Council, Joseph Borel (D), President of the European Diplomacy, and Ursula van der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in a video conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on April 1, 2022 in Brussels (Pool / Olivier Mathis)
It should also be noted that many countries (such as India, Pakistan, South Africa, Brazil) refuse to criticize Moscow.
On Wednesday, Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov, who visited Beijing, reaffirmed the two countries’ “unlimited” friendship against the United States in the name of a new “multipolar world order”: a rising vision. Concerns about the emergence of an “official” mob against Western nations.
In this context, Brussels and Beijing signed an initiative at the end of 2020 on the initiative of Berlin: “The risk is that China + exaggerates + to obtain concessions such as the resumption of negotiations on its neutrality (in Ukraine) investment agreement.” Valerie Nickett of the Foundation for Strategic Research.
Approval of the agreement was blocked today by EU sanctions to punish the use of forced labor in the Chinese region of Xinjiang and Beijing’s counter-sanctions against members of the European Parliament and researchers. This is compounded by the conflict over China blocking imports from Lithuania after Taiwan’s representation in the country opened.
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