The bloc says it hopes the conferences will provide an opportunity to debate areas of widespread curiosity.
In his opening remarks, President Xi informed his European guests they have to “jointly respond to global challenges”.
Thursday’s talks are set to deal with extra sensitive subjects too, from human rights and Beijing’s continued ties with Russia regardless of its battle in Ukraine to the yawning EU-China commerce hole.
Von der Leyen warned this week that the bloc would “not tolerate” that imbalance indefinitely.
“We have tools to protect our market,” she informed AFP.
Beijing hit again on Wednesday, saying the bloc’s efforts to curb exports of delicate tech to China whereas balancing commerce did not “make sense”.
European officers have mentioned repeatedly this 12 months they purpose to “derisk” their financial ties to China after the battle in Ukraine uncovered the continent’s power dependence on Russia.
Beijing’s aim this week might be to “hinder or delay derisking at a minimum cost”, Grzegorz Stec, an analyst at China-focused suppose tank MERICS, informed a media briefing Wednesday.
Beijing will try and “project the image of a responsible global actor and to reassure European actors about the direction of the Chinese economy”, Stec mentioned.
But on the eve of the summit, information broke that Italy had withdrawn from China’s huge Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has lengthy been against Italy’s participation in an initiative considered by many as an try by Beijing to purchase political affect – and whose financial advantages to Rome had been restricted.
Also on the agenda on the summit would be the preventing between Israel and Hamas – in addition to Russia’s battle in Ukraine.
China, which has not condemned Moscow’s February 2022 invasion of its neighbour, welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to Beijing in October, with Xi hailing their “deep friendship”.
Such camaraderie is unlikely in Thursday’s talks with EU leaders, who one analyst mentioned had “zero trust” in Beijing.
“Both sides are unlikely to get what they want from the other side,” Nicholas Bequelin, a senior fellow at Yale’s Paul Tsai China Center, informed AFP.