USA, EU agree to restart bilateral talks on China, address Russia’s challenge

The United States and the European Union have agreed to restart a bilateral dialogue on China and work together to address Russia’s ‘challenging behavior’, according to a joint statement on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell “recognized a common understanding that relations with China are multifaceted and include elements of cooperation, competition and systemic rivalry.”

They will also work together on issues including reciprocity, economic issues, resilience, human rights, security, multilateralism and climate change, the statement said.

“Secretary Blinken and High Representative Borrell reaffirmed that credible multi-party democracy, the protection of human rights and compliance with international law support the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region,” the statement said.

“Both aim to work together to promote safe, sustainable, free and open maritime supply routes and supply chains and look forward to deepening cooperation with like-minded partners where interests and approaches intersect.”

Blinken and Borrell also said they would address “Russia’s challenging behavior, including its ongoing aggression against Ukraine and Georgia; hybrid threats such as disinformation, interference in electoral processes, harmful cyber-activity and military status.”

During their meeting in Brussels, the two also promised to work together for the global distribution of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines and to ensure that they are prepared for future pandemics.

Among the issues discussed by the two ministers were cooperation on climate action, Iran and Turkey.