Le Maire Urges EU Adopt a United Stance on China Before Summit

The European Union must defend its values and adopt a unified position on dealing with China before the trade bloc holds a summit this week with Asia’s biggest economy, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told a German newspaper.

“The priority for the EU must be to develop a common stance. It doesn’t have that at the moment,” Le Maire told Welt am Sonntag. “The EU has to define its own interests, has to be strong and independent -- from both China and the U.S. This is crucial to be successful in the 21st century.”

“If we want to build a solid relationship with a country like China, we have to defend our values,” he added. “Nothing is gained for the EU if it forgets its own values.”

The summit, which was originally due to take place in Leipzig, will be held on Monday by video. It will be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping and European Council President Charles Michel, and will also include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen, who leads the European Commission.

The EU also plans to press China to toughen its climate goals, officials in Brussels told Bloomberg on Friday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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