(TibetanReview.net, Apr06’22) – There was no meeting of minds on issues to be discussed during last week’s European Union’s summit with China as the latter did not want to talk about Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine or human rights. It was a “dialogue of the deaf”, the EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told the European Union Parliament Apr 5 evening.
In a stronger than usual rebuke of Beijing, Brussels’ top diplomat has told the EU lawmakers that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping wanted to “instead focus on the positive things”.
“China wanted to set aside our differences on Ukraine, they didn’t want to talk about Ukraine. They didn’t want to talk about human rights and other stuff and instead focus on positive things,” the scmp.com Apr 6 quoted Borrell as saying during a fiery debate on China in Strasbourg, France.
“This was not exactly a dialogue, maybe a dialogue of the deaf … we could not talk about Ukraine a lot, and we did not agree on anything else,” he was stated to have continued.
It was the first bilateral summit in almost two years between the two sides and took place via video link on Apr 1, with Borrell joined by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.
While the European side entered the talks determined to press China on its position on the Russian war against Ukraine, which it has failed to condemn, Borrell has confirmed again that the Chinese leadership did not commit to withhold military or economic support from Russia.
China’s only “red line” on Russia, Borrell has said, “is weapons of mass destruction”.
Beijing, on the other hand, has painted a more positive picture of the summit, which ran for three hours over two sessions. “China and the EU share extensive common interests and a solid foundation for cooperation,” the report quoted a Chinese readout as saying.
“President Xi called on the EU to form its own perception of China, adopt an independent China policy, and work with China to promote the steady and sustained growth of China-EU relations,” it was reported to have added.
Borrell was stated to have responded by saying, “We condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine and support this country’s sovereignty, democracy, not because we follow the US blindly, as sometimes China suggests, but because it is our position … this was an important message for the Chinese leadership to hear.”