Chinese Premier Li Keqiang took on an inclusive and reconciliatory tone during his meeting with EU leaders in Beijing on Monday, Reuters reports, calling on China, Europe, the US and Russia to move forward together in upholding the international trade system.
“Leaving behind any other country – let’s not even talk about leaving behind the US or a country located between Europe and China – is unfeasible. Because this is a multilateral trade agreement,” said Li.
Speaking on the US’s latest objections to Chinese trade policies, Li said that this was a bilateral issue that will require both sides to reach a compromise, even though he considers China to be the “victims”.
Li’s espousal of international free trade was in part supported by European Parliament head Donald Tusk, who asked world leaders to join the EU in reforming the World Trade Organisation.
“It is a common duty of Europe and China, America and Russia, not to destroy this order, but to improve it,” said Tusk. “Not to start trade wars, which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history, but to bravely and responsibly reform the rules-based international order.”
China announced yesterday that it has filed a complaint at the WTO against Washington’s latest tariffs and has previously challenged the EU for its opposition to China’s desired status as a market economy.