China-EU summit: Europeans discuss sensitive issues facing Xi Jinping

European leaders Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen and Angela Merkel held a video conference on Monday, September 14 with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

REUTERS / Yves Herman

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

European leaders Charles Michel for the Council, Ursula von der Leyen for the Commission and Angela Merkel for the six-monthly presidency of the EU held a videoconference with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday 14 September.

This virtual meeting replaces a summit initially planned in Leipzig.


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With our correspondent in Brussels,

Pierre Benazet

On the menu of debates,

economic questions

and that of the climate, but also the rule of law and human rights.

On the occasion of this mainly economic summit in Beijing's eyes, Europeans spoke a lot about political issues.

For the latter, Sino-American tensions give the EU a crucial role vis-à-vis China as an economic partner.

Independent observers on the Uyghur issue

They chose to take advantage of it to discuss with the Chinese president the angry subjects: concern about Chinese pressure against Taiwan's sovereignty, desire to see China come back to its commitments and respect

the autonomy of Hong Kong

and democracy in this territory, a concern for human rights defenders and journalists or even human rights for minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang.

On this subject, they also proposed to the Chinese president to authorize the access of independent observers in Xinjiang to verify what is the treatment reserved for the

Uyghur community


The 27 member countries of the European Union had agreed before this summit by videoconference to be able to speak with one voice and send what they consider to be a strong message to China: it is not possible to have economic and trade relations without having to agree to discuss political questions in return.

► See also: China-EU summit: "the European Union calls for rules of transparency and reciprocity"


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  • European Union

  • China

  • Diplomacy

  • Ursula von der Leyen

  • Angela Merkel

  • Xi Jinping