BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The 27 European Union heads of state and government will seek a new approach to China on Tuesday at their first summit on Sino-European strategy since sanctions against Beijing and retaliatory measures that threaten a new investment pact in March. .
The European Union, along with the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on March 22 for human rights abuses, which Beijing denies. The EU was immediately sanctioned against the legislature of the European Parliament, which put the approval of the recently agreed investment agreement between the EU and China on hold.
“The EU has tried to avoid confrontation with Beijing, but we can no longer consider China as a good trading partner,” said an EU diplomat.
In einem ländlichen Gebiet Sloweniens werden die Staats- und Regierungschefs der EU auch vom französischen Präsidenten Emmanuel Macron erfahren, wie der Block versucht, seine Macht in internationalen Angelegenheiten zu projizieren to have. Except for France.
As the world’s largest trading bloc, the European Union has the power to set policy rules outside its borders, but it has repeatedly failed to coordinate a common foreign and military policy, weakening its influence.
Senior EU officials and diplomats hope the informal meeting will be a moment to discuss independence from the United States and play a role in Washington’s foreign policy transition to Asia.
No decisions have been made.
“The United States has recognized the importance of a stronger and more effective European defense,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign affairs coordinator, said on Tuesday before the European Parliament in Strasbourg against Slovenia. “The crises in the European Neighborhood are a call for us to respond.”
The meeting began on Tuesday evening in Brdo, near the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. The six Balkan countries are due to join the European Union’s heads of state and government on Wednesday, hoping to join the bloc one day.
Australia’s decision to end a major submarine treaty with France and opt for US-designed ships instead as part of AUKUS’ new security alliance with Washington and London has angered Paris, but it could upset the European Union’s joint defense plans.
“We can turn a blind eye and pretend that nothing happened. We think this would be the fault of all Europeans,” Macron’s adviser told reporters. “There is indeed an opportunity here.”
Borrell called this development a “wake-up call”, but insisted that Washington remain Brussels’ closest ally.
Additional reporting by John Chalmers in Brussels and Michel Rose in Paris. Editing by Nick Szczynski and Gareth Jones
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