EU-China summit via video conference, 1 April 2022

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Publication Date 2022
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The 23rd bilateral summit between the European Union (EU) and China was held on 1 April 2022. This meeting was held via videoconference.

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The two sides discussed extensively Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The EU called on China to support efforts to bring about an immediate end to the bloodshed in Ukraine, consistent with China's position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and its uniquely close relations with Russia. The EU also pointed out that sanctions against Russia were imposed only to stop Russia's aggression, and that any circumvention of the effects of those restrictive measures or any aid to Russia would prolong the bloodshed, lead to even greater losses of lives and economic disruption.

The EU noted its disappointment with China's sanctions, including against members of the European Parliament, and its measures against the EU single market and Member States. The two sides discussed cooperation on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and reopening of the economy. The EU confirmed its commitment to work with China and other WHO Member States on a new international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The need to address long-standing concerns related to market access and the investment environment in China was also addressed, with the view to ensuring a balanced trade and economic relationship. Leaders mandated the high-level trade and economic dialogue to find ways to make progress on these issues. They also agreed to continue cooperation on climate chance and energy transition.

The importance of a transparent and competitive environment for the digital economy was highlighted, as well as trustworthy and ethical uses of artificial intelligence. EU leaders expressed concerns about increased cybersecurity threats. The EU also reiterated its concerns regarding the human rights situation in China.

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Commentary and Analysis
Amnesty International: News, 18/03/2022: Amnesty International letter ahead of EU-China summit
Institut Montaigne: Blog, 25/03/2022: EU-China Summit: Seeking a Constructive Chinese Role to End Putin’s War
Human Rights Watch (HRW): News, 30/03/2022: EU: No Business as Usual at China Summit
Euro|topics, March 2022: EU-China summit: Beijing's role in the Ukraine war
Politico, 01/04/2022: 5 things you won’t hear at the EU-China ‘April Fool’s Day’ summit

Global Times, 01/03/2022: China-EU Summit's 'ice-breaking' role expected to advance bilateral cooperation: experts
LRT News, 17/03/2022: Lithuania wants EU to cancel summit with China – media
EUObserver, 30/03/2022: Beijing sides with Moscow ahead of EU-China summit
RFE/RL, 30/03/2022: 'Not Business As Usual': EU Prepares For Tense China Summit Amid Ukraine War
Euronews, 01/04/2022: 'The million dollar question': Ukraine war poised to take centre stage at tense EU-China summit
RTÉ News, 01/04/2022: EU, Chinese leaders meeting for no ordinary summit
Bloomberg, 01/04/2022: EU to Warn China It Will Hurt Global Role by Helping Russia
Deutsche Welle, 01/04/2022: EU-China summit focuses on war in Ukraine amid tense relations
EurActiv, 01/04/2022: EU tells China ‘not to interfere’ with Russia sanctions
South China Morning Post, 02/04/2022: EU-China summit: cooperation on Ukraine but Beijing won’t commit to pressing Russia
Reuters, 02/04/2022: China tells EU it will pursue Ukraine peace in its own way

General Secretariat of the Council: EU-China summit via video conference, 1 April 2022
General Secretariat of the Council: Background Brief for this meeting - EU-China summit via video conference, 1 April 2022
European Council: Press Release, 01/04/2022: EU-China summit: Restoring peace and stability in Ukraine is a shared responsibility
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel after the EU-China summit via videoconference (1 April 2022)
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel following the EU-China Summit via videoconference (1 April 2022)

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