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Statement of the EU Delegation on the annual working lunch of the EU Ambassador and the Ambassadors of the EU Member States with China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister, H.E. Wang Yi

On Monday 21 December, the Head of the EU Delegation to the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis, and the Ambassadors of the EU Member States, held their annual working lunch with State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues, covering the entirety of the EU-China relationship. Ambassador Chapuis recalled the goal of finalising negotiations for an EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) by the end of 2020 and noted the progress in the ongoing talks and that both sides are in continuous contact to address outstanding issues.

The EU side had comprehensive exchanges with the State Councillor / Foreign Minister on: the current overall state of play of EU-China relations; Human Rights; Climate Change and Bio-diversity; multi-lateralism and on China’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the implications of related restrictions on European businesses and citizens. The EU side also took the opportunity to express its concern regarding restrictions on the freedom of the media and on the free flow of information in China.

The working lunch was an important opportunity to take stock of EU-China relations. The European Union remains committed to building a comprehensive relationship with China, taking into account the EU’s interests and values, and based on mutual commitment and reciprocity.