European Council president Charles Michel will journey to Beijing for a gathering with Xi Jinping subsequent month, in a transfer more likely to spotlight European divisions on how one can have interaction with China.

Michel, who represents the EU’s 27 leaders, will go to Beijing on December 1 to satisfy Xi and different senior Chinese language officers, two folks with information of the choice advised the Monetary Instances, the primary time an EU president has met Xi in China since 2018.

The assembly will comply with a strategic dialogue amongst EU leaders final month on how one can regulate the bloc’s relationship with China in mild of Xi’s more and more hardline insurance policies and deepening rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

Proponents of what one of many folks described as a gathering involving the “full-blown pink carpet remedy” mentioned it was a part of efforts to maintain strains of communication open to China regardless of the rising pressure with western capitals.

The go to will comply with a state go to by Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier this month that prompted disquiet amongst different EU member states, because the bloc wrestles with how one can toughen its strategy to Beijing.

It additionally follows a three-hour assembly between Xi and Joe Biden on the eve of the G20 summit in Bali this month, the place the US president mentioned he was looking for to responsibly handle the connection with Beijing.

Beneath strain from the US to stick to its extra hardline stance, Brussels is rethinking its engagement with China, with the goal of lowering a heavy financial reliance on Beijing. Washington and hawkish EU states see that as a significant vulnerability for European economies.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted soul-searching inside the EU about its relationship with China, as capitals realise that their idea of financial interdependence with Moscow completely failed to offer it any leverage over Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The EU should recalibrate its perspective to China and look at it as an all-out competitor with restricted areas of potential engagement, Brussels urged member states final month.

“China has develop into a good stronger world competitor for the EU, the US and different like-minded companions,” the fee’s overseas coverage arm urged capitals. “It’s subsequently important to evaluate how finest to answer present and foreseeable challenges.” 

Michel, who held a video name with Xi in April, mentioned on the Bali summit that the EU wanted to “rebalance” the connection with China, however that it was “vital to hear to one another, to develop a greater understanding”.

Human rights, local weather change, financial relations and world well being points are more likely to type a part of the talks, Michel urged in October after the EU leaders’ dialogue.

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