China Attempts to Strengthen Relations Europe after Trump slams new tariffs on Beijing

By Faith Magbanua, July 12, 2018 16:07 PM

German Prime Minister and Chinese State Premier Li Keqiang(Facebook/ Screenshot)

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met eastern and central European leaders in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday, July 7, 2018, and swore to open up China's economy to the wider world. He is also expected to meet up with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, July 9, 2018 and next week, in Beijing, he will be hosting an EU-China summit.

"Opening up has been a key driver of China's reform agenda, so we will continue to open wider to the world, including widening market access for foreign investors," he said. "Countries are welcome to board China's economic express to share opportunities of China's development."

Keqiang's remarks followed another round of U.S. tariffs against China, instigated on Friday which was worth $34 billion. In response and as promised, Beijing reacted with the same amount.

Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to impose an additional $500 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods and stressed that increasing tariffs on imported goods will help reducing the U.S. trade deficit.

Meanwhile, China has been pouring billions of euros into roads, railways, ports and other infrastructure projects in eastern and central European countries. China is now the EU's biggest source of imports and its second-biggest export market. On average, both blocks trade over $1.18 billion a day.

In an interview with CNBC last month, Jyrki Katainen, vice-president of the European Commission, have confirmed that China and the EU are taking further steps to sign an investment agreement to bolster trade.

"We decided that, in a couple of weeks' time, the EU and China will exchange market access offers on (the) investment agreement," Katainen said in Beijing. This agreement signing is expected to take place during next week's summit.

Meanwhile, the European Commission was not available for comment on the subject when contacted by news sources on Monday.



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