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EU-China Relations to Worsen Unless Beijing Uses Influence With Russia to End Ukraine War: Borrell

With US already tightening its noose around China over its potential help to Russia in the Ukraine war, European Union cautioned Beijing that it must use its influence with Moscow to end the conflict or else the already strained relations with the bloc will further deteriorate, as per reports. 

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell at a press conference in Sweden on Friday evening said, “Life is complicated.” “If I don’t like your behaviour, you cannot expect to be good friends. It is as simple as that.”

This comes as China’s special representative on Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, is all set to travel to Ukraine, Russia, and other European capitals next week to serve as an intermediary and try to resolve the conflict that has marred the Eastern European region for over a year now. 

Though Borrell appreciated this visit by a Chinese representative, he did so with a subtle warning for China that if it does not follow suit it will end up worsening the relations between EU and Beijing. 

“It is so important that China understands that what is happening in Ukraine is an existential threat for us, and we expect that China will use its role and its responsibilities. If this is not the case, our relationship will not be so good,” the EU foreign policy chief said. 

In a separate conversation, Borrell told the Post, “We had been asking China to get involved with Ukraine, and this phone call with President Xi [Jinping] was the first small step. And this special envoy is another step towards China using its influence to stop this war.”

However, he continued saying “we know China is practising pro-Russian neutrality”.

“So this [peace] initiative is important for us, because we cannot have a good relationship with China if China is clearly supporting Russia.”

Borrell comments came on the nine-page position document during his meeting with the EU’s 27 foreign ministers on Friday in Stockholm. The ministers mulled over the bloc’s policy towards Beijing and its recalibration if China does not accede to its demands. 

It was a closed-door meeting where the ministers’ pondered over bloc’s ties with Beijing. The bloc ministers’ warned of the increasing threat “nationalist” and ideological” rival, as per SCMP. 

“The 27 are united behind the music of this text,” Borrell said. “I haven’t seen any concrete disagreement.”

“If we are to build new stability in our complex relations, the EU and its member states should remain firm but not confrontational. We should be clear-eyed about the nature of this relationship,” the position paper outlined.

Source : WION

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