Beijing, 14 October 2023 (TDI): Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union (EU), and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the twelfth EU-China Strategic Dialogue On October 13, 2023, in Beijing, China.

The primary focus of their discussions revolved around the bilateral relationship between the EU and China, especially in the context of the upcoming EU-China Summit.

The two diplomats also delved into regional and international issues, including recent developments in the Middle East following the Hamas attack on Israel and the ensuing Israeli onslaught on Gaza, the Russian-Ukraine crisis, and the situation in Afghanistan. 

Moreover, they shared perspectives on global challenges such as climate change, global health, and debt management.

During the talks about EU-China relations, Josep Borrell addressed the challenges faced in these ties and stressed the importance of maintaining a stable relationship

He emphasized the need for continued high-level meetings to discuss bilateral cooperation and global issues, and both diplomats agreed to increase such meetings.

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Furthermore, Borrell expressed deep concerns about human rights violations in China. He also underscored Russian aggression in Ukraine.

He also conveyed the EU’s expectations for China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to play a pivotal role in ending the war in Ukraine and upholding the UN Charter.

Likewise, he also highlighted the significance of China refraining from supplying weapons or other battlefield items to Russia.

The EU High Representative also noted the adverse effects on the global market resulting from Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, especially after Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s grain storage facilities and its withdrawal from the Grain Sea initiatives.

Borrell also talked about the recent attack by Hamas on Israel and called for the release of hostages.

He reiterated the EU’s condemnation of attacks against civilians and urged international actors to take frequent initiatives to prevent the escalation of the conflict. He also requested from both sides to give access for civilians to water, food, and medicines.

The diplomats highlighted the situation in Afghanistan and expressed shared concerns about the violation of women’s and girls’ rights in the country.

The discussions between the two diplomats lasted for four hours, and both sides agreed to continue further meetings with each other.