In a German newspaper before a summit next week, Li Keqiang, the Chinese Premier, wrote that China is planning to work with the European Union on issues including climate change and trade. The said summit is aimed at cementing ties.
Some diplomats in Brussels have said that the tensions over investments, minority rights, and trade mean that China and the European Union may fail to agree on a joint declaration at the summit that is scheduled on the 9th of April. That could have a negative impact on the efforts of the European Union to gain greater access to Chinese markets.
Some extracts of a column for Monday’s edition of Handelsblatt were released today In the article, the Chinese Premier denied the accusations that Beijing was attempting to split the bloc by making investing in eastern European states.
Li wrote: “We emphatically support the European integration process in the hope of a united and prosperous Europe.” He said that the close cooperation of Beijing with eastern European states was considered to be “advantageous for a balanced development within the EU.”
The European Union is concerned by the potential Chinese dominance of strategic European industries. The bloc is trying to persuade Beijing to open up its markets and has attempted to get it to commit to removing what Brussels considers as unfair barriers to trade.
Li wrote that China was prepared to work with Europe closely in supporting sustainable development, upholding the Paris Climate Agreement, fighting terrorism, and retaining the international nuclear deal with Iran.
He also said that it wanted to exchange some views on reforming the World Trade Organization.
The European Union is considered as the largest trading partner of China. An increase in Chinese takeovers in some of the critical sectors of Europe and an impression in Brussels that Beijing has not fulfilled its promise to stand up for free trade has complicated the negotiations before the summit.