Growing tensions between the United States and China are obstructing the international cooperation needed to cope with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the EU’s ambassador in Beijing has warned.
Speaking to reporters in the Chinese capital Thursday, Nicolas Chapuis also said that China could help alleviate these tensions, according to Reuters.
“We are seeing high levels of tensions, strategic, economic, political, growing day after day,” he said. “It is our opinion that these tensions are not conducive to the cooperative spirit we need today.”
His remarks come as relations between Washington and Beijing continue to sour. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the way China has handled the outbreak, while his administration says it is considering imposing tariffs on China.
Chapuis added that the EU was key to a multilateral strategy to combat the coronavirus and the economic fallout. “I am convinced that the EU voice is today more than ever necessary. We are the core of multilateral solutions that need to be taken to mitigate the coronavirus crisis and prepare for economic recovery,” he said.
He also said that an investment agreement between China and the EU, which is currently being negotiated, could play a crucial role in the world’s economic recovery after the pandemic.
“If the agreement can be concluded in time, that is, in the next few weeks, this agreement will be one of the keys of global recovery,” he said.
For the latest information and analysis on COVID-19 and its global implications sign up for POLITICO’s Daily Coronavirus Update or update your preferences.