The European Union is getting set to talk trade with China in April or May. European officials told Reuters the goal is to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of what may be a more protectionist Washington D.C. A European trade official says the summit is meant to send a “message to the U.S. that China has friends in Europe.”
The EU is hoping to get China’s vocal support for international institutions like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. President Donald Trump has criticized the U.N. in the past, while Russia completely bypassed the U.N. in securing a cease-fire in Syria. China and the European Union hold a summit every year and while a specific date hasn’t been chosen yet, Beijing requested it to take place as soon as possible.
The EU believes China wants to use the summit to re-emphasize its defense of open trade and global ties that China put forth at the World Economic Forum in January.