“It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russia, not to destroy (the global trade order) but to improve it, not to start trade wars which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history,” EU Council President Donald Tusk said in Beijing.
“There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos.” Tusk spoke after meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as part of an annual EU-China summit that opened against the backdrop of the growing China-US economic confrontation and wider global trade discord.
The EU — the world’s biggest single market with 28 countries and 500 million people — is trying to buttress alliances in the face of the protectionism unleashed by US President Donald Trump’s “America First” administration.
The meeting between Chinese and European officials in Beijing, which also included European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, comes as Trump prepared to hold talks in Helsinki with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The world needed trade reform, rather than confrontation, Tusk. “This is why I am calling on our Chinese hosts, but also on Presidents Trump and Putin, to jointly start this process from a thorough reform of the WTO.” “Today we are facing a dilemma, whether to play a tough game, such as tariff wars and conflict in places like Ukraine and Syria, or to look for common solutions based on fair rules,” Tusk said.