High-ranking EU officials meet with Xi to discuss trade imbalances, Ukraine crisis


(MENAFN) Top EU officials met Chinese Leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday for their first in-person summit in four years to discuss issues ranging from trade imbalances to Ukraine, with an agenda full of tough rhetoric but light on deliverables.

According to a state broadcaster, during the meeting, Xi asked the EU to collaborate with China to promote global stability, strengthen political trust between the two countries, and "eliminate all kinds of interference" in the two-sided ties.

During their one-day visit, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will also be met by EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, President Charles Michel of the European Council, and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission.

It will be their final opportunity to meet with senior Chinese officials before the elections for the European Parliament take place the following year, which will result in a shift in the bloc's leadership.

Prior to the meeting, both parties have made an effort to lower expectations. On Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued a warning to ambassadors from EU member states stationed in Beijing, saying that Europe should prioritize "peace and stability" above a "new Cold War."

There won't be a unified statement, a European official informed media earlier this week in Brussels, adding that "there's not a single outstanding deliverable that will be crowning the summit."

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