A few hours before the China-EU summit on Friday, Chinese analysts warned that China-EU relations could not be kidnapped by the Ukraine crisis and that Europe should no longer be abducted by the United States in foreign policy, as it would greatly undermine the EU’s own . interests, making it difficult to secure economic recovery and the livelihoods of the people, and run counter to Europe’s goal of pursuing strategic independence.
Analysts’ warning came after several sources from Europe before the summit claimed that Brussels was trying to warn Beijing to support Russia in the Ukraine crisis, and some EU officials said that any help from China to Russia would “bring the relationship with its biggest trading partners at risk “. Europe and the United States, noting that trade volumes between China and the bloc are much higher than between China and Russia.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at Friday’s media briefing that every country has the right to make its own foreign policy independent, but that they should not force others to take sides or adopt the approach of “friend or foe”. A Cold War mentality and camp-based confrontations should be resisted, Zhao said.
As for sanctions, the question now is not which country will help Russia get around the sanctions, but that normal trade between Russia and other countries, including China, has suffered unnecessary damage, Zhao said, urging all parties to fall to calm down and focus. on promoting peace talks rather than escalating conflicts.
Analysts said Europe’s pressure on China ahead of the summit was a usual trick, it did by trying to manipulate the agenda of the summit and force China to stand with the EU and the US in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which China never did. will accept.
Both China and the EU have announced the news of the 23rd China-EU leadership meeting on Friday. President Xi Jinping will meet virtually with European Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Prime Minister Li Keqiang will, along with the two EU leaders, chair the meeting between China and EU leaders.
According to the European Council, the main focus of the summit will be on the Ukraine crisis.
However, the outcome of the summit cannot be decided unilaterally by the EU, and the EU should better manage its expectations and have a clear understanding that standing with the West to sanction Russia is not in line with the principle of China’s diplomacy, Cui Hongjian , director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies told the Global Times on Friday.
It will result in a major negative impact on the EU if it takes trade measures against China, “especially in the midst of the impact of an energy ban with Russia, harmful trade cooperation with China will cause Europe to fail to secure its post-pandemic economic recovery and people’s livelihoods, “Cui said, noting that the EU would be” very unwise “to do so.
Although the EU has taken some economic measures against China, such as sanctions on issues related to China’s Xinjiang, it’s just making a gesture instead of doing tangible damage to China-EU economic relations, Cui said.
The EU is fully aware that China and the EU are important trading partners with strong economic complementarity. In the first two months of this year, the EU overtook ASEAN to become China’s best trading partner, and by 2021, China was the second largest recipient of EU exports of goods and the largest source of EU imports of goods.
According to Reuters, Brussels is keen on assurances from Beijing that it will neither “supply Russia with weapons” nor “help Moscow circumvent Western sanctions” imposed on Ukraine.
But for Chinese analysts, such assurances are questions set from the perspective of the West that do not exist for China.
China and Russia are developing ties based on mutual benefit, and there is nothing wrong with two WTO members engaging in normal trade, Cui said.
As for the so-called weapons aid, China has repeatedly said it was disinformation.
Relations between China and Russia should be decided by the two countries rather than Europe.
Analysts stressed that China understands the EU’s concerns about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but it can not let the conflict abate Friday’s summit, as China and the EU have much more to discuss and cooperate on bilaterally and multilaterally, and the fact that both decide to hold the summit is an indication that both are ready to strengthen their cooperation.
Seeking common ground
While the Russia-Ukraine conflict spans over a month, Europe has endured great pressure as a result of sanctions against Russia and its excessive confidence in the US-led NATO security structure.
“The EU is now kidnapped by the US in terms of security, but that is not in line with the strategic independence that the EU has been pursuing,” Cui said.
To avoid being caught in hot water again, the EU must take control of its own destiny. And developing ties with China gives the EU an opportunity to develop in a more balanced and comprehensive way in the long term, he said.
As for the Ukraine crisis, China and the EU as two great powers could strengthen cooperation to promote peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and between Russia and the United States and provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine as well as explore economic cooperation to achieve a stable world economy, analysts said.
Wang Huiyao, president of the Non-Governmental Think Tank Center for China and Globalization, told the Global Times on Friday that there is much room for China and the EU to work together to promote peace in the Ukraine crisis. He said China and the EU could promote a peace talks involving Russia, Ukraine and the US based on the UN platform to further push for peace talks.
While the Ukraine issue will not dominate Friday’s summit, China and the EU, as key trading partners with extensive areas of cooperation and great development potential, will seek to deepen cooperation on climate change and the digital economy and explore new areas of cooperation, Wang said.
Human rights issues are also likely to be discussed, and the European Council said the EU would call for the resumption of the EU-China human rights dialogue.
Wang said China would state its position on Xinjiang-related issues, including welcoming European diplomats’ visits to Xinjiang, which is conducive for Europe to learn about the true Xinjiang.