Amid strained ties, EU-China kick off virtual summit

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jun 22, 2020, 05:36 PM(IST)

File Photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China and the EU both say they want to boost ties, but the relationship has worsened due to a range of issues, from trade and investment to human rights and concerns regarding national security

The Chinese leadership and senior EU officials kicked off a video summit on Monday amid tensions over bloc slamming Beijing's authoritarian measures and imposing tariffs on Chinese firms. 

The summit began at 0800 GMT European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. President Xi Jinping is also expected to join the summit sometime later. 

Also read | EU 'names and shames' China, Russia for spreading 'disinformation campaigns'

China and the EU both say they want to boost ties, but the relationship has worsened due to a range of issues, from trade and investment to human rights and concerns regarding national security.

Also read | Drag China to UN court over Hong Kong security law: EU Parliament

The EU on Friday demanded the immediate release of a top Chinese human rights lawyer, who was sentenced for "inciting subversion of state power" after criticisng Xi and Chinese administration and asking for constitutional reforms.

The bloc has also slammed Beijing's measures to push its assertiveness in Hong Kong and Tibet, including Beijing's new security law. 

However, EU's stand against China has caused many disagreements amongst its member nations, with many calling not severing relations with Beijing. 

The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, has declared plans for new legislation intended to ensure foreign firms backed by heavy state subsidies do not distort competition in Europe.

There is a rising concern in Europe that coronavirus-triggered recession could lead to Chinese companies buying European organisations in large numbers. 

(With inputs from AFP)
 

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