China cancelled EU leader's video address at opening of major trade expo - dips

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[1/2] European Council President Charles Michel speaks with European Union overseas argumentation main Josep Borrell, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the Chinese President Xi Jinping via video league during an EU-China acme astatine the European Council gathering successful Brussels, Belgium April 1, 2022. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS

BEIJING/BRUSSELS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities down a large commercialized expo successful Shanghai pulled an opening ceremonial code by the European Council president that was acceptable to criticise Russia's "illegal war" successful Ukraine and telephone for reduced commercialized dependency connected China, diplomats said.

The pre-recorded video by Charles Michel was meant to beryllium 1 of respective from satellite leaders and heads of planetary organisations including Chinese President Xi Jinping astatine the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) connected Friday, 3 European diplomats told Reuters.

The diplomats, who cannot beryllium named owed to the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters they were amazed the code was removed.

"President Michel was invited to code 5th Hongqiao Forum/CIIE successful Shanghai," Barend Leyts, a spokesperson for Michel told Reuters. "As requested by the Chinese authorities, we had so provided a pre-recorded connection which was yet not shown. We person addressed this done the mean diplomatic channels.”

No 1 from China's overseas ministry oregon the co-organisers of the expo, China's commerce ministry and the Shanghai metropolis government, responded to Reuters requests for comment.

Other dignitaries who did talk astatine the ceremonial aft Xi included the managing manager of the International Monetary Fund, the director-general of the World Trade Organization and the presidents of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Belarus, according to the expo's authoritative website.

Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko is simply a staunch state of Russia's person Vladimir Putin whose state has hosted thousands of Russian troops earlier and during what Moscow calls a "special operation" successful Ukraine.


The European Council president's code was acceptable to beryllium heavy captious of "Russia’s amerciable warfare against Ukraine" and accidental Europe is learning "important lessons" from it, according to excerpts of the code provided by European diplomats.

Europe has been over-dependent connected Russia for fossil fuels, starring to a commercialized imbalance, Michel was to say.

"In Europe, we privation equilibrium successful our commercialized relations … to debar over-dependencies," according to the diplomats acquainted with what helium was to say. "This is besides existent of our commercialized relations with China."

Michel was besides acceptable to telephone for China to bash much bash enactment an extremity to the bloodshed successful Ukraine.

China has consistently refused to criticise Russia's aggression which has ravaged cities crossed Ukraine and killed thousands of troops and civilians since it began connected February 24.

"China has a relation successful utilizing its power to halt Russia’s brutal warfare … done your alleged “no-limits” concern with Russia, " Michel was to say, referring to a pact announced by Xi and Putin successful Beijing earlier the warfare began. "You, China, tin assistance enactment an extremity to this."

Both Xi and Michel are expected to be and conscionable astatine the Group of Twenty (G20) heads of authorities acme successful Bali adjacent Tuesday and Wednesday.

The President of the European Council is 1 of the European Union's apical ranked officials whose relation includes representing the bloc astatine planetary summits and bilateral summits with different heads of state.

Since 2019, the EU has officially regarded China arsenic a partner, an economical rival and systemic rival.

The EU's overseas argumentation work said successful a insubstantial past period that Beijing should present beryllium thought of chiefly arsenic a rival that is promoting "an alternate imaginativeness of the satellite order".

Reporting by Martin Quin Pollard successful Beijing and Jan Strupczewski successful Brussels; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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