Reuters: China cancels EC presidentʼs video speech at the opening of an exhibition in Shanghai. He was supposed to talk about the war in Ukraine

Anna Kholodnova

Chinese authorities have canceled a video speech by European Council (EC) President Charles Michel at the opening ceremony of a trade exhibition in Shanghai.

Reuters writes about this with reference to European diplomats.

According to excerpts of the address available to journalists, in this speech the President of the EU Council harshly criticized "Russiaʼs illegal war against Ukraine" and noted that Europe is learning "important lessons" from it.

According to Michel, the European Union was overly dependent on Russian fossil fuels, which led to a trade imbalance.

"We want balance in our trade relations to avoid excessive dependence in Europe. This also applies to our trade relations with China," Reuters sources quoted Michel.

The President of the European Council should also have called on China to do more to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine.

"President Michel was invited to speak at the fifth Hongqiao/CIIE Forum in Shanghai. As requested by the Chinese authorities, we provided a pre-recorded message that was ultimately not shown. We sent him through the usual diplomatic channels," a spokesman for the president of the European Council Barend Leits noted.

Chinaʼs Foreign Ministry, co-organizers of the exhibition, Chinaʼs Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai municipal government did not respond to Reutersʼ request for comment.

The website of the exhibition states that after Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, as well as the presidents of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Belarus spoke at the ceremony.

  • China does not condemn Russiaʼs attack on Ukraine and at the same time is increasing bilateral trade against the backdrop of Western sanctions.
  • In September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba met with State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi in New York. According to the minister, his colleague confirmed Chinaʼs respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the fact that "force should not be a means of solution disputes".
  • On October 19, Chinaʼs Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it "knows nothing" about the attack on Kyiv on October 17, which killed five civilians, and said that de-escalation requires "calmness and restraint."