BEIJING, China - The European Union is seeking to "reengage" with China ahead of a major summit on December 7 and 8, a top official said Friday, following high-level meetings in Beijing that touched on a range of thorny topics.

European commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton described his meetings with Chinese counterparts as "constructive" and "tense on some issues", but added that "it was very good to reengage" after the challenging pandemic period.

Breton said that the world's largest single market, which he represents, was preparing to participate in a summit with the world's second-largest economy, China, in Beijing next month.

"In all my meetings... I have been very frank and very direct because if we want to create reciprocity, new opportunities... and an open market for companies, trade and investment, we should not shy away from difficult discussions," Breton told a press conference.

French European commissionier Thierry Breton gestures as he delivers a speech during the MoDem summer university in Guidel, western France, on October 1, 2023. (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP)

"It was for me the opportunity to rebalance our relationship, to de-risk our economies and societies... and also to address global challenges together," said Breton.

"The next political step will be the summit... with a very important subject that I spoke (of) at every single of my meetings, which is the new geopolitics of supply chains," added Breton.

The EU market chief's visit to Beijing comes on the heels of a diplomatic blitz in recent months by top Brussels officials.

The bloc's foreign policy leader Josep Borrell said in Beijing last month that trust had been "eroded" between the EU and China, due to various disputes involving trade and geopolitics.

In September, EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis visited Beijing, following values and transparency chief Vera Jourova's visit earlier in the month.

Source: Manila Bulletin (