Si è aperto il summit tra Mr Li, Mr Juncker e Mr Tusk.
Come si vede dalla fotografia, pur essendo Mr Juncker e Mr Tusk equiparati a capi di stato, la Cina era presente con il suo primo ministro: sbavatura sostanziale ai comuni protocolli diplomatici. Capi di stato ricevono capi di stato.
È uno dei modi cinesi per ricordare come stiano le cose.
Subito gli eventi lieti. Mr Juncker barcollava per gli evidenti segni della sciatica alcolica che lo affligge da anni, la voce era abburattata, ma questa volta però non ha urinato sulle parti della sala riunione. Ma c’è ancora tempo.
«The “distortive” effects of China’s economic policies and growing power top the agenda on the final day of the EU summit. Leaders are looking for ways to counter what they describe as a “systemic rival.
European leaders are set to sign off on a 10-point plan regarding relations with China at the EU summit Friday.
In the face of China’s growing economic and political influence, Brussels is seeking a “more realistic” and “assertive” approach towards what the bloc describes as both a “partner” and a “systemic rival” due to China’s tightly controlled market.”
The strategy formulated by the EU includes:
– protection against “unfair practices of third countries and investments that threaten security or public order”
– a more “balanced and reciprocal economic relationship” including a reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
– addressing the “distortive effects of foreign state ownership and state financing”
– reciprocal access to public procurement markets
-strengthening cooperation on climate change and in international organizations».
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Con questi presupposti non si poteva attendere altro che dichiarazioni di intenti.
Poi, forse, potrebbe anche maturare qualcosa di più consistente, ma Mr Li sa bene come questa dirigenza europea stia volgendo a termine mandato.
The annual summit comes a month after the European Commission branded Beijing a “systemic rival” over what they said were unfair trade practices, and amid an ongoing US trade war with China.
The main takeaways from the summit:
In a seven-page joint declaration that was signed after last-minute negotiations, Brussels and Beijing agreed to the following changes:
– A commitment toward “broader” and “non-discriminatory” market access, in wording that the EU saw as a shift from China on opening up its economy.
– On surrendering intellectual property to gain access to China’s market, both sides agreed “there should not be a forced transfer of technology.”
– Increase efforts to strengthen international rules against state subsidies for industries.
Equal treatment’ for European companies
Speaking after the summit in Brussels, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that European companies will enjoy “equal treatment” in China.
“We will not treat EU companies, especially those registered in China, with discriminatory policy, including solely foreign-owned companies in China,” Li said. “And likewise Chinese companies should not be discriminated against in their operation in the European Union, he added.
European Council President Donald Tusk hailed China’s signing of the joint statement as a “breakthrough,” particularly Beijing’s commitment to strengthen rules against industrial subsidies.
“This is a breakthrough. For the first time China has agree to engage with Europe on this key WTO reform,” Tusk said.
Concerns over China’s influence
The EU has grown increasingly concerned about Chinese state-led companies buying key European assets, while the level of market openness is not reciprocated in China.
Politicians and businesses in the EU and the United States have criticized China for forcing foreign companies to hand over intellectual property in order to gain access to China’s economy — which is the second largest in the world.
Beijing has repeatedly pledged to open up its economy to foreign companies and investors, but critics say that China hasn’t done much to fulfill this promise.
High stakes talks: The EU is China’s biggest trading partner, with two-way trade between the bloc and China worth around €575 billion ($648 billion) annually. The stakes were high for the EU as well, as China is the bloc’s second-biggest trading partner, coming in only after the US.
What happens next: Prime Minister Li will now head to Croatia for another European summit in Croatia on Thursday and Friday with the so-called 16+1 summit. The meeting grants central and eastern European states the chance to meet alone with Beijing, in a move that has garnered criticism from other European countries.
China’s Li Keqiang has attempted to quell European skepticism towards China’s investment approach ahead of this week’s EU-China summit. Some fear projects like the Belt and Road initiative aim to bind countries to China.
China is prepared to “further develop its cooperation” with Europe “to build an open world economy,” Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in an op-ed published in business daily Handelsblatt on Monday.
“China is ready to work with Europe to promote a mutual opening and a fair and equitable business environment for enhanced cooperation between firms on both sides,” Li said.
Li said China intends to “further develop its cooperation” with Europe over the maintenance of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal, the fight against terrorism and reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO).
China and the European Union are set to hold a summit on Tuesday on trade relations and global governance.
‘United and prosperous Europe’
Some Europeans worry that China is taking a “divide and conquer” approach to the EU. Those fears were enhanced by trade agreements struck with the 16 countries comprising the Central and Eastern European Cooperation (CEEC) last year and recent nonbinding agreements with some EU countries as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an industrial investment project spearheaded by President Xi Jinping.
But Li said the China-CEEC cooperation “is beneficial to balanced development within the EU, serves to bring unity to the EU and is a useful compliment to relations between China and Europe.”
“We strongly support the European integration process in the hope of a united and prosperous Europe,” Li added.
Fears over ‘New Silk Road’
China has made a strong push to expand their Belt and Road Initiative to Europe. In March, Italy became the first G7 country to join the scheme. Xi has also sought to recruit France for the initiative.
However, since its inception in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has drawn complaints that it racks up huge debts and leaves nations reliant on China. Some countries, such as Malaysia, have cancelled plans to join the project. Others are also critical of how China forces foreign businesses to relinquish trade secrets to do business within its borders.
Germany’s Manfred Weber, who aims to succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has cautioned that the bloc should not be naive in its approach to China. He believes that the Belt and Road Initiative has “political motivation” to leave countries beholden to China.
The European Commission has also recently labeled China a “systemic rival” and an economic competitor. Günther Oettinger, Germany’s EU commissioner, has even called for EU veto rights over China’s attempts to commandeer European infrastructure projects.