Home » Divides over trade and Ukraine are in focus as EU and China’s leaders meet in Beijing

Divides over trade and Ukraine are in focus as EU and China’s leaders meet in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — The leaders of China and the European Union were holding wide-ranging talks Thursday that included their disputes over trade and a deep divide on the war in Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met at a state guesthouse in Beijing with the two European presidents, Ursula von der Leyen from the EU Commission and Charles Michel from the EU Council. The two European leaders were going to meet Premier Li Qiang, China’s No. 2 leader, later on Thursday.

The European Union is calling on China to improve market access for products from its 27 member countries to address an annual trade imbalance of more than $200 billion between the two sides. China exported $458.5 billion worth of goods to the EU in the first 11 months of this year, and imported $257.8 billion, according to Chinese customs data released Thursday.

The EU also has angered China by launching an investigation into the latter’s subsidies for electric vehicles to determine whether they give manufacturers in China an unfair competitive advantage in European markets.