US, EU concerned about China’s “problematic and unilateral actions” at sea – .

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US, EU concerned about China’s “problematic and unilateral actions” at sea – .


WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union on Thursday expressed deep concern over China’s “problematic and unilateral actions” in the South China Sea and stressed the need for close contact to manage “competition and systemic rivalry” with Beijing.

The joint statement follows talks in Washington between US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Secretary General of the European External Action Service Stefano Sannino.

He “stressed the importance for the US and the EU of maintaining continuous and close contact on our respective approaches as we invest and develop our economies, cooperate with China to the extent possible and manage our competition and our systemic rivalry with China responsibly ”.

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The statement also said the two sides discussed rights violations in China, including the crackdown on religious minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet and the erosion of autonomy in Hong Kong. He said they have expressed their readiness to deepen information sharing between the United States and the EU on disinformation sponsored or supported by China.

“They expressed their deep concern at China’s problematic and unilateral actions in the South and East China Seas and the Taiwan Strait which undermine peace and security in the region and have a direct impact on security and peace. prosperity of the United States and the European Union, ”the statement added.

The statement followed the second meeting of the US-EU dialogue on China established this year. Sherman and Sannino are due to continue China-related talks on Friday with high-level consultations on the Indo-Pacific.

US President Joe Biden has stressed the importance of working closely with his allies to combat China’s growing power and its increasingly assertive behavior in the world.

An official US briefing ahead of the talks said Washington and Brussels have an “increasingly convergent” view of China’s “worrying behavior”. Read more

Speaking separately in a think tank in Washington, Vice-Admiral Hervé Blejean, Director General of the EU General Staff, said there was room for greater coordination to “express our liveliness. desire to defend international law at sea against the de facto policies we have seen in the South China Sea. “

Blejean told the Center for Strategic and International Studies that France is a power in the Pacific and that there is also interest in the region from other EU members, Germany, the countries- Bas and Denmark, as well as the former EU state, Great Britain.

“We need to look at how we convey this together, because when we are all united the power of the message is stronger, and how we interact with like-minded nations – Australia, US, Japan, ASEAN countries etc. “

Blejean said the EU may consider establishing an “area of ​​maritime interest” in the South China Sea after a pilot project to better coordinate the maritime presence of EU member states underway in the Gulf of Guinea in Africa and another under consideration in northern India. Ocean.

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Reporting by Tim Ahmann, David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina, editing by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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