China is prioritizing its diplomatic relations with Europe, a top Chinese foreign policy official said, highlighting Beijing’s efforts to become less dependent on the United States following months of trade tensions, reported Reuters.
“We see Europe as an important cooperation partner and a priority on our diplomatic agenda,” Wang Yi, a state councilor who also serves as foreign minister, said on Monday during a visit to Europe.
China has been ramping up its efforts to improve ties with the European Union and countries including Russia and Japan as trade and political relations with the United States have deteriorated.
Wang’s comments on his trip to Europe, which included an Asia-Europe foreign ministers’ meeting in Spain, came just days after Beijing and Washington agreed a preliminary trade deal. Speaking at a think tank in Brussels, Wang said China was not an economic rival of the European Union and should not be treated as such.