China looks to deepen EU ties at summit, foreign minister says

BEIJING (Reuters) – China hopes to boost relations with the European Union at an upcoming summit, with a firm focus on pragmatic cooperation in the face of complex situations and severe challenges, its foreign minister Wang Yi said.

In a meeting on Monday with EU diplomatic envoys to China in Beijing, Wang said the two sides should view bilateral relations from a strategic perspective and added that China’s policy toward Europe remains stable, according to Xinhua news agency.

“China and the EU have not completely the same point of view on international and regional issues, and only by adhering to communication and coordination can we play a constructive role in maintaining world peace and stability and addressing global challenges,” Wang said, according to the Xinhua report.

The remarks came ahead of a highly-anticipated summit on Thursday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The two sides are trying to mend frayed relations on several trade issues, such as an EU anti-subsidy investigation on electric vehicles and a looming probe on Chinese steelmakers.

The head of the EU delegation to China and the envoys of EU member states to China said the EU is committed to developing constructive and stable EU-China relations, and is willing to maintain mutual respect and dialogue with China, according to the report.

The envoys said the EU has no intention of decoupling from China and hopes to establish “mutually beneficial and balanced economic and trade relations with China”, according to Xinhua.

In the meeting on Monday, the two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis and Palestinian-Israeli conflict, according to the report, without elaborating.

(Reporting by Bernard Orr and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Sonali Paul)