Other areas of tension include Taiwan, the war in Ukraine – and concerns Chinese firms are helping Russia get round sanctions – as well as a growing trade deficit that reached €390 billion (US$420.5 billion) in China’s favour last year, according to the EU.
“China is promoting high-quality development and high-level opening-up, and will view the EU as a key partner in trade, a prioritised partner in technology cooperation, and a trustworthy partner in industrial and supply chain cooperation,” Xi said, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.
“The economies of China and Europe highly complement each other. Both sides should make more efforts to tighten the bonds of the China-EU community of shared interests through deeper and broader cooperation.”
Xi told von der Layen and Michel that Beijing and Brussels should “form accurate perceptions of each other and strengthen mutual understanding and trust” as well as being “trustful and faithful and putting their hearts and minds into developing their relationship”.
Specifically, he said China and the European Union should “complement each other in markets, capital and technologies; promote upgrades in traditional industries and the development of emerging industries; explore new models of cooperation, create new areas of growth; and together improve industrial and supply chains”, Xi said.
The European leader said they were “looking forward to developing a consistently stable, predictable, sustainable relationship with China”, according to the Chinese statement.
They added that the bloc “hopes to continue dialogue and cooperation” in areas such as trade and the green and digital economies, as well as maintaining supply chains. They also said they wanted to cooperate on global issues such as climate change and artificial intelligence.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, von der Leyen said the leaders agreed that they have “a joint interest in balanced trade relations” and hope to “increase people-to-people exchanges”.