EU's President Von Der Leyen tells Xi differences must be addressed

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 12/7/2023 7:23:19 AM

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday told Chinese leader Xi Jinping they must address the "imbalances and differences" between the bloc and China.

"China is the EU's most important trading partner," von der Leyen said in opening remarks at a high-level summit in Beijing, "but there are clear imbalances and differences that we must address".

The EU says it hopes the two-day summit in the Chinese capital between the bloc's leaders and Beijing's top brass -- their first in person in more than four years -- will provide a chance to discuss areas of common interest such as climate change and health.

President of the European Council Charles Michel said the bloc was seeking a "stable and mutually beneficial" relationship with China in his comments to kick off the meeting at Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

"We are united in being committed to the pursuit of a stable and mutually beneficial relationship with China," Michel told Xi and other Chinese officials, adding the bloc wanted ties based on "principles of transparency, predictability and reciprocity".

President Xi told von der Leyen and Michel that China and the bloc must work together to meet global challenges in his opening remarks.

"We must jointly respond to global challenges and work together to promote world stability and prosperity," Xi said.

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