China, EU welcome progress in 5G cooperation

Clay Curtis
April 11, 2019

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The contrast was implied with U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda, his administration's attempts to disrupt the World Trade Organization, and the U.S. trade war with China.

Diplomats reached an eleventh-hour accord on a draft communique after China made concessions on wording about industrial subsidies that removed a European veto threat, said one of the officials, who asked not to be identified by name.

Li arrived in a black Mercedes bearing two Chinese flags before going into the European Council building with Juncker and Council chief Donald Tusk. It also has growing concerns over state-led Chinese companies' dominance of some European Union markets and acquisitions of strategic industries.

China's acquiescence to a seven-page communique followed months of intense European diplomacy against the backdrop of US trade talks with China and what French President Emmanuel Macron called "an end to naivety" about Chinese power.

The EU is also keen for Chinese help in the fight against climate change after the United States withdrew from a landmark worldwide accord to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

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In short, the two sides pledged their joint commitment to uphold and update rule based orders, including WTO reform.

The Trump administration on Monday threatened a sharp escalation in transatlantic commercial tensions by proposing to impose tariffs on US$11 billion (S$14.9 billion) of USA imports of goods from the EU in response to alleged European subsidies to planemaker Airbus, a rival of Boeing.

According to the official, China and Europe are two major forces and markets in the global arena, and are important cooperation partners to each other. The two sides also worked out a deal on a section of the draft statement related to the worldwide order based on the United Nations, according to the official.

Italy is the first European nation that has signed up for China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative despite skepticism from its EU counterparts and US.

The EU leaders also aim to discuss " the crisis in Venezuela and China's influence on questions including the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, human rights problems and the Iran thing.

But while Tuesday's meeting may not yield anything new in the EU's complex relationship with China, European officials insist it still has value in keeping up the pressure.

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