EU must speak with one voice in China relations - Polish FM

The EU must speak in a single voice in relations with a partner as strong as China, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said during a video conference on Friday between EU foreign ministers, highlighting that the Chinese market is closed to European products.

The video conference was devoted to EU relations with China, including preparations for an EU-China summit scheduled for June, Mr Czaputowicz told a subsequent press conference.

The head of Polish diplomacy drew attention to the fact that China's growing global importance demands "greater unity" among the EU member states and pointed out that Poland's propositions for the upcoming summit on rules of cooperation with China include "ensuring EU transparency and coordination with regard to China, the significance of trans-Atlantic relations in building relations with Beijing and the quest for a balance between a pragmatic approach and protecting common interests."

The minister noted that the Chinese market remains closed to European products, especially agri-food products. "For Poland, greater elimination of trade barriers and ensuring the principles of mutuality in access to the Chinese market for goods coming from the European Union are of key importance," Jacek Czaputowicz said.

The foreign minister went on to announce that his EU counterparts had agreed to a text clearly expressing "concern at Chinese actions undermining international obligations towards the status of Hong Kong."

During the video conference, details of a meeting scheduled for September between the EU 27 and Chinese leaders were also discussed.