China and the EU are expected to hold their annual summit at the end of March, two weeks before Beijing hosts a high-profile meeting with the leaders of Central and Eastern European countries, according to two sources.
The proposed date for the EU-China Summit was March 30-31, when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang would meet the European Commission’s new leadership in Beijing, the two European sources with knowledge of the matter said.
President Xi Jinping would then host this year’s Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries meeting – known as the “17+1” for the 17 European nations that take part – in Beijing, they said. The proposed date for that summit was April 15.
Li has hosted the 17+1 summit for the past six years. Xi is expected to replace him as host of the summit, deliver a keynote speech and meet the visiting dignitaries, the
South China Morning Post reported earlier.
Observers have said the change of host was evidence of Beijing’s efforts to upgrade its engagement with Europe amid intensifying rivalry with the United States.
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