Xi: EU must strengthen strategic independence for better China ties
The Chinese President finds that both China and the EU advocate multilateralism and peaceful approaches to conflict resolution.
Upon meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping advised the European Union to strengthen its strategic independence for the benefit of better relations with China.
"For the relations between China and the EU to develop in a healthy way, it is necessary that the EU steadfastly defend its strategic independence," he said on Friday, as cited by China Central Television.
He added that both China and the EU advocate for multilateralism, alongside the United Nations Charter's principles and peaceful approaches to conflict resolution.
According to Xi, his country is prepared to conduct multilateral dialogue with the EU based on independence and mutual respect, hoping that Spain would engage in an active role in facilitating dialogue and cooperation between China and the EU.
This comes as Sanchez started his two-day visit to China to discuss bilateral relations, the war in Ukraine, and peaceful settlements. It is worth noting that this year marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Spain and China.
Speaking of China's role in resolving the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his readiness to see Xi. "We are ready to see him here," he said in an interview with The Associated Press published on Wednesday. "I want to speak with him… But during all this year, more than one year, I didn’t have [contact with Xi]."
It is worth noting that China has released a 12-point position paper that details the necessary steps to achieve peace in Ukraine.
EU nations have been trying to up their game and seeking rapprochement with China as part of the new world order reshuffle.
For instance, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock plans to visit the Chinese capital Beijing in mid-April, according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
As announced by Baerbock, Germany will pursue a new strategy for Chinese affairs in 2023. The German official added that China needs to adapt its policies to fit the foundations of the current international order, which includes “fair competition, the question of human rights, and the recognition of international law.”