Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) wants the EU-China summit to lead to concrete steps on rules based trade between Europe and China. Earlier this year, the Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke out in favour free trade and open markets. Schaake: "It is time that China follows up its words with actions. Now that Trump seems to be withdrawing from the world stage, Europe and China could work together to strengthen international trade rules. However, China will need to show real commitment in order to do that."
European companies consistently face problems on the Chinese market, while Chinese companies often receive help from the government. For example through subsidies or simplified procedures. This leads to unfair competition. Schaake: "European Member States need to form a united front. China will not hesitate to try to divide the Member States when it comes to trade. If France only focuses on the interests of its aerospace industry and Germany only on those of its car industry, China will play us off against each other. It is in our common interest that China adheres to international agreements. That is something we can only achieve if all Member States work together."
Schaake emphasises that the human rights situation in China must also be addressed during the summit. "Economic interests must never push human rights off the agenda. In China, journalists are jailed, the death penalty is often carried out and in different parts of the country, people are repressed. The importance of the European market for China means that we have a possibility to address the dismal human rights situation in the country,", says the MEP.
Prime Minister Li Keqiang will visit Brussels today and tomorrow for the EU-China Summit.