China and EU seek greater economic cooperation in several sectors

China and the European Union are seeking greater economic cooperation in several sectors, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in Beijing on Monday after a meeting with China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng.

‘Cooperation between Europe and China remains essential. But in a world characterised by rising geopolitical tensions, we need to work harder to continue building positive cooperation,’ Dombrovskis asserted.

He, the Chinese vice premier, earlier said China has agreed to import more agricultural products from the EU.

In return, Beijing hopes that Brussels will allow exports of high-tech products to China again, He said. Both sides agreed to discuss market access for high-quality food and agricultural products from Europe, according to the Chinese vice premier.

China and the EU also agreed on further cooperation in the financial sector, for example, allowing financial institutions to invest in the markets of the partner countries, He said. Consensus had also been reached on other issues, he added.

The Chinese official listed a total of six points on which the two sides had agreed to cooperate more, including opening markets to each other’s financial institutions to attract investment. Both sides also agreed to make supply chains more resilient and to make the environment for companies less discriminatory.

Dombrovskis also called for cooperation between China and the EU in order to revive the deal for grain exports from Ukraine across the Black Sea that was cancelled by Russia. Dombrovskis previously expressed his lack of understanding of China’s stance on the Ukraine war.

Territorial integrity has always been a fundamental principle for China in international diplomacy, and Russia’s war obviously violates this principle, the Latvian politician told students at the renowned Tsinghua University in Beijing on Monday.

‘So it’s very difficult for us to understand China’s stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine, as it breaches China’s own fundamental principles,’ said Dombrovskis.

In the Ukraine war, Beijing has officially presented itself as neutral but it does in fact back its neighbour.

Dombrovskis also noted that food security is ‘high on the agenda’ for China. ‘It is therefore difficult to see how Russia’s sabotage of grain exports from Ukraine can be in China’s interests,’ the EU Commissioner added.

Dombrovskis’ visit to China came less than two weeks after the European Commission announced its intention to investigate China’s e-car subsidies. Brussels believes that China is distorting the market by subsidizing Chinese e-car companies, allowing them to offer their cars at a cheaper price.

Chinese Vice Premier He appealed to the EU to exercise caution and keep its markets open. European customers and the development in Europe towards less emissions would benefit from this, the Chinese official said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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