Chinese President Xi Jinping held a trilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing on Thursday, as the three sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation and address global challenges.
The summit, which marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, was aimed at setting the right direction and tone for China-EU ties, fully resuming exchanges at all levels and revitalizing mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields.
Xi said that China and the EU share extensive common interests and that cooperation and common ground between the two sides outweigh competition and differences. He said that China and the EU should respect each other, promote political trust, strengthen dialogue and cooperation, uphold world peace and stability, promote common development and prosperity, and address global challenges together.
Xi also said that China and the EU should respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, work through dialogue and consultation to build consensus and overcome differences, and respect each other’s development paths. He said that Chinese modernization and European integration are strategic choices China and the EU have made with their respective futures in mind.
Xi stressed that China-EU relationship does not target any third party, nor should it be dependent on or dictated by any third party. He said that China has all along viewed the relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective and ensured stability and continuity in its EU policy. He hoped that the EU would develop a more independent and objective perception of China and adopt a pragmatic and positive China policy.
Xi also said that China and the EU should keep their markets open to each other, provide a fair and non-discriminatory environment for businesses from the other side, and avoid turning economic and trade matters into political or national security issues.
Macron said that he wanted to “be a voice that unites Europe” over Ukraine, and that coming to China with von der Leyen served to “underline the consistency of this approach”. He said he was counting on Xi “to reason” with Russia and help end the war that has “put an end to decades of peace in Europe”.
Von der Leyen said that it was interesting to hear that Xi reiterated his willingness to speak to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. She said that Xi said a conversation could happen when the “conditions and time are right”.
The three leaders also witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements on climate change, biodiversity, food security, health, culture, education, science and technology.