BRUSSELS (Reuters) – At the height of the euro zone crisis, a Chinese official quipped that Europe was being reduced to a “wonderful theme park” for tourists. That view no longer has much currency as Beijing recalibrates links with the world’s biggest trade bloc.
Beijing’s growing realization that China needs strong influence in Europe’s de facto capital, Brussels, has been cemented by President Xi Jinping’s visit to the EU’s institutions this week, the first ever by a Chinese leader.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping won a promise from the European Union on Monday to consider a multi-billion-dollar free-trade deal with his country, a long-held goal for Beijing which divides Europe.
Xi, the first Chinese leader to visit the EU institutions in Brussels since ties were established in 1975, pressed senior EU officials to consider such a pact, despite European concerns that Chinese state-owned firms flout international trade rules.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation hit its lowest level since November 2009 in March, a shock drop that raises expectations the European Central Bank will take radical action to stop the threat of deflation in currency bloc.
Annual consumer inflation in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March, with the pace of price rises cooling from February’s 0.7 percent reading, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Monday.
BRUSSELS, March 30 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping
will use two pandas to break the ice and soften European
opposition to a free-trade deal with China during a visit to
Belgium which starts on Sunday.
As the first Chinese leader to visit the European Union’s
headquarters since Brussels established ties with Beijing four
decades ago, Xi will also seek to send a message that China is a
less confrontational partner, ready to resolve trade disputes.
BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) – The European Union will press
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday to help reduce Europe’s
reliance on Russian energy by exporting U.S. natural gas, at a
time of chill in relations with Moscow over its intervention in
After a visit to a World War One battlefield, Obama will
have just 75 minutes over lunch with the EU’s top officials to
tackle issues ranging from energy to climate change, in a
meeting that will be dominated by the Ukraine crisis.