China cancels EU leader's video speech at opening of major trade fair

O Presidente do Conselho Europeu, Charles Michel.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
| Photo: EFE/JJ Guillén

Chinese officials behind a major trade exhibition in Shanghai withdrew an opening speech by the President of the European Council, which criticized Russia’s “illegal war” in Ukraine and called for the reduction of the EU’s commercial dependence on China, as diplomats told exclusively to the Reuters news agency.

The pre-recorded video by the Belgian liberal politician Charles Michel, President of the Council since 2022, was to be one of several world leaders and heads of international organizations, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) on Friday. Friday (4th).

The diplomats, who do not can be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject, they told Reuters they were surprised the speech was removed. o.

“I am not aware of the relevant situation”, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference in Beijing on Tuesday. “I can’t comment on that.”

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