Not long ago, Josep Borrell was one of the favorites in Beijing’s propaganda target. The head of foreign policy of the European Union did not spare his criticism when he addressed China’s position after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the dangerous movements of the Chinese army around Taiwan or the kidnapping of freedoms in Hong Kong. This did not sit well in the Asian giant and Borrell’s name frequently appeared in editorials in state media, which accused him of be at the service of Washington.
The criticism from China was toned down, with a much softer tone, as different representatives from Brussels have paraded through the second world power. There are several open fronts, but at least now conversations are much more regular. The last one to gain weight pack of visits to China has been Borrell himself.
After landing in Shanghai and meeting with representatives of several European companies based in the financial center, Borrell was in Beijing on Friday. In the capital he was waiting for him Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China. In a joint press conference held after the meeting, the Spaniard answered questions about the war between Israel and Hamas, saying that the 24-hour ultimatum that the Israeli army had given to evacuate one million people in northern Gaza was unrealistic. “EU foreign ministers agreed that Israel has the right to defend itself from aggression, but this must be done in accordance with international law“Borrell recalled.
The Chinese minister, for his part, stressed that China condemns “all acts that harm civilians” and calls on “relevant countries to remain calm and increase restraint.” Wang noted that “the question of Palestine is a wound that keeps opening” and asked who will look after the interests of Palestinians while Israel has broad international support.
“When can Palestine return to its rightful home?” said the Chinese, advocating the need for an “international peace conference” to be held urgently at the UN. Wang also revealed that his country’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Junwho has already held talks with senior Israeli officials and also from the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), “will soon visit the relevant countries” to call for a ceasefire and a return to the peace talks.