Thu, 05 Aug 2021

Brussels [Belgium], June 16 (ANI): After the United States-European Union Summit, both sides pledged to closely consult and cooperate on a full range of issues in their approach to China, with regards to its controversial actions in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the US and the EU said: "We intend to closely consult and cooperate on the full range of issues in the framework of our respective similar multi-faceted approaches to China, which include elements of cooperation, competition, and systemic rivalry. We intend to continue coordinating on our shared concerns, including ongoing human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet; the erosion of autonomy and democratic processes in Hong Kong; economic coercion; disinformation campaigns; and regional security issues."The two sides also expressed serious concern about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions by China.

"We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. We intend also to coordinate on our constructive engagement with China on issues such as climate change and non-proliferation, and on certain regional issues," read the joint statement.

The US and the EU also called for progress on a transparent, evidence-based, and expert-led WHO-convened phase 2 study on the origins of COVID-19, which is free from interference.

"...we commit to working together toward the development and use of a swift and independent means for investigating such outbreaks in the future," they said.

"Today we opened a new, promising chapter in our joint history, with a renewed and strong transatlantic partnership", said President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, after the EU-US Summit. The EU and US committed to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and driving forward the global recovery, as well as fostering green growth, strengthening cooperation and building a more democratic and secure world.

Von der Leyen also commended the leadership of US President Joe Biden with regard to international corporate taxation. "We jointly aim to build on the recent agreement at G7 Finance Ministers' level. And we fully stand behind the OECD process," she said.

This comes after world leaders in the recently-concluded Group of Seven (G7) meeting pledged to promote shared values by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Xinjiang where Beijing is accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority, and in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, while agreeing to consult on collective approaches on Beijing's practices to undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy.

In the Carbis Bay communique, the G7 leaders said: "We recognise the particular responsibility of the largest countries and economies in upholding the rules-based international system and international law...We will do this based on our shared agenda and democratic values. With regard to China, and competition in the global economy, we will continue to consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy." (ANI)

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