Seizing on EU tensions with US, Xi tells Europe to keep investing in China

Press play to listen to this article

Voiced by artificial intelligence.

Beijing’s top leader Xi Jinping on Thursday asked the European Union to freeze its investments in China On deepening European fears that the US is becoming a more hostile trade rival to Brussels.

“China hopes the EU will share the opportunities of China’s supersize market,” President Xi said in a meeting with his European Council counterpart Charles Michel in Beijing, according to state media Xinhua.

,[China and the EU] We must jointly oppose isolation, and jointly oppose the politicization and weaponization of trade and technology. China will remain open to European companies, and hopes that the EU will reject interference and provide a fair and transparent business environment for Chinese companies,” Xi said.

Xi’s bid to keep European cash flows comes as EU resentment at US President Joe Biden grows Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), The IRA is a big tax, climate and health care package – and a subsidy bonanza that is likely to attract new industrial investment from Europe to the US

It is also a direct response to growing political rhetoric in Europe – including Germany, the main economic engine – calling for companies to diversify away from the Chinese market and reduce dependence on a major trading partner that has been increasingly under Xi’s watch. Nationalist and ideological.

“We welcome Europe’s continued participation,” Xi said, “and continued win-win.”

Michel, for his part, focused his message on Russia, saying the EU “counts on” China to “respect the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and contribute to ending Russia’s brutal destruction and occupation”. . ,

On trade, Michel set out the “difficulties faced by EU companies and investors” in China, stressing that “rebalancing trade relations” was a “major” issue for European leaders.

He also raised “societies’ response” to coronavirus measures in Europe and China – a mild, coded reference to dramatic nationwide protests China called for an end to the country’s zero-Covid policy.

In her stormy visit, Michel also met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and National People’s Congress boss Li Zhanshu. Both are retiring within months.

Michel’s spokesman announced some deliverables following his meeting with Xi, including “preparing to resume” the EU-China human rights dialogue. Xi, for his part, stressed that such talks can only take place on an equal footing.