BEIJING – The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said on Thursday that China is an important ally for the EU to confront the challenges and issue it faces, including the war in Syria, the tension in the Korean peninsula, and Britain’s exit from the EU.
Federica Mogherini was addressing students from the department of political science and sociology at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
She told the conference that both China and the EU have a shared responsibility, as world powers, to ensure peace and security, not only in the Middle East, but also in the Korean peninsula, and elsewhere.
“We have a common responsibility and an interest to avoid a military escalation in the Korean peninsula,” Mogherini said.
The EU’s Foreign Policy chief highlighted the importance for all countries, but particularly global powers such as the EU and China, “to engage constructively in world affairs,” as well as “building a rules-based global order.”
She encouraged nations to engage in diplomacy and dialogue, saying that “isolation cannot solve any of the issues of our time. On the contrary, it can only make things worse.”
Mogherini, who is also vice president of the European Commission, acknowledged the “tough times we are living” in, urging the international community to remain united despite the challenges presented.
Mogherini also reassured her audience that the EU is not threatened by a confident and prosperous China.
“I know that some in the world are concerned about a more confident and outward looking China. I do not share this view,” she said, encouraging the two powers to cooperate further and find “win-win” solutions to global issues, such as the Syrian civil war.
She said that China and the EU must use their influence over all parties involved to stay engaged in the peace process and to “safeguard everyone’s human rights” in the Syrian conflict.
As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia on April 12 vetoed a resolution against the Bashar al-Assad regime over an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians on April 4, a vote from which China abstained.
She stressed that there is “no military solution to the Syrian crisis,” something she promised to “discuss at length” in Moscow later this week.
With respect to Britain’s exit from the EU, whose negotiations began in March and must be completed within a two-year timeframe, Mogherini expressed the Commission’s resolve on integration.
“I’m afraid Britain will lose more than Europe,” she said.
After her visit to China, the high representative will continue her tour of major emerging economies with stops in Russia and India.