Amid deteriorating ties between Beijing and Washington, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday said that top EU and US diplomats agreed to launch a dialogue to form a coordinated approach towards China.
"We agree to launch European Union - United States dialogue on China as a forum to discuss the full range of related challenges and opportunities. We decided to continue meetings at the senior official and expert levels on topics such as reciprocity, economic issues, resilience, human rights, security, multilateralism and areas for constructive relations with China, such as climate change," Borrell said at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
"We equally agreed - and this is maybe the most important - to support the fullest possible involvement of the United States in the European Union defence initiatives and to enhance our dialogue on these issues. The European Union security and defence policy contributes to the transatlantic security and offers concrete opportunities for our cooperation."
Meanwhile, Blinken issued a strong rebuke to China for its sweeping use of coercive measures and insisted on the North Atlantic Treaty Orgsation (NATO) allies to work with America to mount a pushback on Beijing.
"The United States will not force our allies into "us or them" choice with China. There is no question that Beijing's coercive behaviour threatens our collective security and prosperity and that it is actively working to undercut the rules of the international system and the values we and our allies share," said Blinken, during an address at NATO's headquarters in Brussels.
He was delivering remarks from Brussels, Belgium after holding consultations with NATO allies.Blinken called out China's militarisation of the South China Sea, use of predatory economics, intellectual property theft and human rights abuses.
Blinken's speech comes after an increase in tensions between the US, European Union and China in recent weeks.
Blinken also called on the Chinese government to follow through on its commitments on human rights as well as on other issues of concern. China has failed to uphold these commitments in the past, he said.
"We are looking very much forward actually having close consultations between the United States and the EU on China," Blinken added.
The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom joined the European Union (EU) on Monday to take what they described as "coordinated action" against China to send "a clear message about the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang".
The sanctions blacklisted former and current officials in Xinjiang -- Zhu Hailun, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Chen Mingguo--for alleged abuses, which have sparked international outrage.
( With inputs from ANI )
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