The European Union's foreign ministers will address in their Council tomorrow the challenges in the relationship with China, at a time when the EU asks for more reciprocity to that strategic partner, and will review the latest diplomatic efforts to achieve a solution to the conflict in China. Venezuela.
The ministers' discussions on China will open the way for the debate that the community leaders will hold at their meeting on Thursday and Friday and at the summit between the EU and that country on April 9 in Brussels, community sources indicated.
The State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister of China, Wang Yi, will participate in the meeting.
One of the references of the ministers will be the communication (non-legislative document) presented this week by the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, in which it is proposed to identify this year the harmful effects caused in subject of competition for Chinese government funding and ownership in Europe.
In addition, the document advocates to apply with greater force the bilateral agreements and existing financial instruments and calls on Beijing to fulfill the joint commitments acquired to achieve a "more balanced and reciprocal" economic relationship.
"China is a partner, but sometimes behaves like a competitor," said diplomatic sources, who acknowledged in any case the particular interest of several member states for Chinese investments and called for the EU to "stay united in the face of these challenges."
In particular, foreign officials will discuss how to deepen relations with China in areas such as multilateralism, climate change, non-proliferation, peacekeeping or regional security challenges, such as the situation in Afghanistan.
Another issue that could touch, according to community sources, is the "key" messages that the EU has been sending to China on human rights, respect for international law including the law at sea (with the context of the tension in the sea of South China) and cybersecurity.
On the other hand, Mogherini is expected to inform the ministers about the latest efforts in the EU response to the crisis in Venezuela.
The EU has promoted an international contact group with European and Latin American countries that is expected to hold its second ministerial meeting later this month in Quito.
After a first technical mission to contact all parties to the conflict, two more will be held, according to diplomatic sources.
The main objective of this initiative is to provide the conditions for democratic and fair presidential elections and, at the same time, to support the access of humanitarian aid to the country.
The sources recalled that all possibilities are on the table, including the punishment of Venezuelan officials, although they insisted that all decisions taken must be focused on supporting an electoral advance and that new restrictive measures are not at this time the priority.
Despite the majority support of the EU countries to the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as president in charge of the country, diplomatic sources pointed out that, although they consider it legitimate to call new elections, it does not have the control of the administration and from the police.