The EU-China video summit on Friday is about Russia’s war against Ukraine. The European Union wants assurances from China that it will not help Russia.
High-ranking sources in Brussels said ahead of EU leaders’ talks with the Chinese prime minister and president that China is on a perilous path. It wants to keep its ally Russia off the wind without a direct collision with the West.
But insiders say that if it complies with Russia’s request for military support and help circumvent Western sanctions, Beijing will fall off the rope. “Then you are simply no longer neutral.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Council of Governments President Charles Michel and Foreign Minister Josep Borrell will seek “assurances that China has no intention of providing an economic lifeline or concrete support in this war.”
According to EU sources, if China chooses to do so, it will also have dire consequences for the country itself. Then Chinese companies and banks will also be affected, and the continued growth of prosperity, on which the Beijing system is based, will be at stake. After all, the West is more important than Russia for the Chinese economy.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Brussels hoped to improve relations with China. This was not good, for example due to disagreements over European companies’ lack of access to China and Beijing’s bullying, for example, the EU country Lithuania. The fact that China imposed sanctions on dozens of MEPs after criticizing China’s handling of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kong also didn’t help.
It is the 10th EU-China summit in a series, but according to insiders, it will not be a routine summit. They probably won’t agree on a joint statement and neither will the usual spread of deals on smaller issues. There is no press conference together.
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