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China’s Free Trade Olive Branch to EU Amid Subsidy Probes

Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the EU and China could avoid confrontation through cooperation

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, on February 19, 2024. Photo: Reuters


China says it’s prepared to work hand-in-hand with the European Union to protect free trade, despite rising tensions between the bloc and Beijing which has seen Brussels working to reduce its reliance on the world’s No2 economy.

Beijing is ready to practice multilateralism, and promote an equal and orderly multi-polar world and inclusive economic globalisation, its foreign minister said during a visit to Spain.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China regards the EU as “an important force in the multi-polar pattern” and supports European integration, and the development and growth of the EU as well as achieving strategic autonomy, according to a foreign ministry statement on Tuesday.

“As long as China and the EU strengthen solidarity and cooperation, bloc confrontation will not arise,” he said.


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Wang made the remarks during a meeting with the Spanish prime minister in Madrid on Monday. He also met his Spanish counterpart and Spain’s King Felipe VI.

Wang said China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Spain, strengthen synergies in development strategies and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.

The EU has a policy of reducing economic reliance on China, which the bloc regards with more suspicion due to its close ties to Russia.

The European Commission set out plans in January to bolster the EU’s economic security through closer scrutiny of foreign investments and more coordinated controls on exports and outflows of technologies to rivals such as China.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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