EU leaders hold out olive branch to Chinese ‘rival’ by saying they want active role in Belt and Road Initiative,

Angela Merkel says Europe is still keen to participate in infrastructure scheme that US dubbed a ‘vanity project’.

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker seeks to reassure Chinese leader Xi Jinping that view of China as ‘strategic rival’ is a compliment.

European and Chinese leaders sought to reassure each other over economic cooperation on Tuesday despite the increasing US move towards protectionism, as leading EU figures said they were still open to joining China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the final leg of his European tour, invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to the meeting in Paris, where the four stressed their support for multilateralism and the pursuit of “mutual trust”.

Xi said China was determined to protect the world’s multilateral system, and was ready to continue with “opening up”.[…]

The EU and China also share concerns about the growing US trend towards protectionism – as manifested in the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing. Läs artikel