Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Tusk barb at Trump

Tusk barb at Trump

"There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos", said European Council President Donald Tusk, speaking at a summit between China and the European Union.

Trump triggered fresh concerns from European Council President Donald Tusk at an EU-China summit in Beijing, and from EU foreign ministers in Brussels, one of whom urged the United States president to stand up for non-EU Ukraine and Georgia against Russian Federation. Articles appear on for a limited time.

Tusk said the world needs trade reform, not confrontation.

China says Trump is flouting established world trade rules and that it must protect its own economy.

The comments, from EU Council President Donald Tusk, came as Washington and Beijing stand on the brink of a trade war which many fear could hammer the global economy, while the USA has also picked fights with allies in Europe and Canada.

"Today we are facing a dilemma: whether to play a tough game, such as tariff wars and conflict in places like Ukraine and Syria, or to look for common solutions based on fair rules", Tusk said. Beijing has stepped up diplomatic efforts to recruit support from Europe, South Korea and other trading partners but so far without success.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing does not change what the USA president has called its unfair trade policies.

The Trump administration has criticized the WTO for encroaching on USA legal sovereignty and failing to rein in China's alleged violation of global trading rules.

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During a visit to Berlin by Li this month, German and Chinese companies signed deals worth 20 billion euros ($24 billion). The company was also allowed to join the Chinese market without a local business partner, another rarity in China.

China's ambassador to the European Union, Zhang Ming, said in a commentary in the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily newspaper on Sunday that the focus of the meeting would be how China-EU relations could become a "standard of stability" amid the "din of unilateralism and protectionism".

China and the EU together account for about one third of the global economy, yet European foreign direct investment into China has reached a cap, said EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, alluding to persistent complaints about reciprocal market access.

The dispute has jolted global financial markets, raising worries a full-scale trade war could derail the world economy.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says it is up to Beijing and Washington to "work it out".

The US President has imposed a number of trade tariffs targeting Brussels and Beijing as part of his "America first" campaign.

A recent report from the European Union, cited by the Associated Press, said Beijing erected more import and investment barriers than any other nation previous year, making it harder for electronics and cybersecurity companies to do business here.

The company was also allowed to join the Chinese market without a local business partner, another rarity in China. When a BMW executive said joint a German-Chinese agreement this month to co-operate in developing intelligent vehicles would benefit from the early release of standards by Beijing for the technology, Li asked whether he was concerned joint formulation of those standards would undermine his company's intellectual property. "In this context, as populism in Europe rises, so do concerns about China", Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told DW.

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