China meets with the EU for economic dialogue amid rising tensions

China meets with the EU for economic dialogue amid rising tensions
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

EU-China tensions are notably high right now. The EU has raised some concerns about how China is handling human rights issues, the procedures surrounding a so-far unratified investment agreement and its stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There was also recently a rumor flying around that President Xi had invited some major EU leaders to come to Beijing later this year, which apparently was met with silence. China has adamantly denied this, though.

Meanwhile, European and Chinese leaders are engaging in high-level economic and trade dialogues this week. The same officials will lead the talks – EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He – as the last time the conference met two years ago. It’s no conference with Xi like rumors had suggested, but it’s a step towards reducing tensions in areas where there’s mutual interest.

Key comments:

“The 9th #EUChina High-Level Economic & Trade Dialogue takes place tomorrow 19/07," said Executive Vice President of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, on Twitter on Monday.

“I don’t know where they got the information," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. “What I can tell you is, this is fake news."