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Europe-China: Wang Yi Urges Collaboration Despite Competition

Europe China relations

Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China emphasised on Friday that Europe-China should not shy away from collaboration due to competition said a Reuters report. He urged both sides to work together to enhance the reliability and stability of economic and trade relations. European officials have expressed concerns about economic dependencies on China and have vowed to “de-risk” critical sectors in the face of perceived economic coercion. Wang Yi stated that China supports Europe’s strategic autonomy, emphasizing the need for cooperation despite competition. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, visiting Beijing, affirmed France’s commitment to dialogue with China. Colonna’s trip focuses on encouraging exchanges between citizens but is overshadowed by trade issues, including a recent EU anti-subsidy probe into Chinese-made electric vehicles. Both foreign ministers expressed a commitment to cooperation on global challenges, with Wang expressing a desire to deepen exchanges with France in civil nuclear, aerospace, education, and scientific research. Colonna’s trip precedes a visit by EU Commission and Council presidents to Beijing in December for the first in-person summit with President Xi Jinping in four years.

China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, urged Europe not to fear collaboration with China due to competition, emphasizing the importance of working together to strengthen economic and trade relations. The remarks come amid European concerns about economic dependencies and a commitment to reducing risks in critical sectors. The visit of French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna to Beijing adds a diplomatic dimension to these economic discussions, highlighting the challenges and opportunities in China-Europe relations.

Wang Yi reiterated China’s support for Europe’s strategic autonomy, emphasizing that competition and cooperation could coexist without conflict. European officials have voiced concerns about economic dependencies and the need to reduce risks in crucial sectors. Colonna’s visit, focused on citizen exchanges, has been marred by trade issues, including an EU anti-subsidy probe into Chinese-made electric vehicles. Both foreign ministers expressed a commitment to cooperation on global challenges, with Wang highlighting China’s willingness to address concerns and facilitate exchanges. The trip precedes a significant EU-China summit, signaling ongoing efforts to navigate complex economic and diplomatic terrain.

The statements from Wang Yi underscore China’s willingness to collaborate with Europe despite economic challenges and differing priorities. The upcoming EU-China summit in December presents an opportunity for more extensive discussions on economic ties, climate, biodiversity, and debt challenges. As both sides navigate geopolitical complexities, finding common ground on trade, investment, and diplomatic cooperation remains crucial for building a more stable and balanced relationship.

Wang Yi’s call for collaboration despite competition reflects China’s diplomatic approach to Europe, acknowledging challenges while emphasizing the potential for mutual benefit. Colonna’s visit sets the stage for deeper discussions at the upcoming summit, offering an opportunity for both sides to address economic concerns, strengthen diplomatic ties, and explore avenues for cooperation on global challenges.