Josep Borrell will travel to China in mid-October to renew bilateral relations with the Asian giant and prepare for the next EU-China summit. This was announced by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where he took part in the debate on the State of the Union.
If nothing changes, Borrell will embark on a European diplomatic trip that has been planned for several months and has had to be canceled twice. First in April, due to her positive Covid test after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accompanied French President Emmanuel Macron on his trip to Beijing; and then in June, after then-Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang disappeared under strange circumstances. Borrell had no direct conversation partner.
The former president of the European Parliament is expected to be received by Chinese diplomatic chief Wang Yi, who regained his foreign affairs portfolio after Qin’s fall into ostracism and with whom Borrell says he has good relations. However, he has not indicated whether he will meet President Xi Jinping.
Borrell will land in Beijing but plans to visit other cities. His program includes a tour of the country’s economic offices and the most important think tanks.
The visit comes in an uncertain context of relations between the EU and the Asian giant, which Von der Leyen himself referred to this Wednesday in the State of the Union debate. He did this to criticize their “unfair business practices.”
The head of the local government announced that the commission “will launch an anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles from China.” However, it opened a door to dialogue ahead of the EU-China summit planned for this year.
“Excessive dependencies are a risk,” said Borrell, echoing von der Leyen’s words. The chief diplomat is keen to distance himself from Beijing on certain strategic issues.