On 29 May 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the informal videoconference of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council. The Ministers exchanged views on China ahead of the EU-China Summit in the second half of June as well as discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the Asia and Pacific region.
Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that the EU’s unity and coordination were vital for building the relationship with China, and he expressed support for the work of the European External Action Service on preparing the EU-China Summit. The Minister expressed hope that it would be possible at the Summit to approve a medium-term Agenda 2025 or agree on a joint declaration.
The Latvian Foreign Minister noted that the EU has to cooperate with China in a number of areas, for instance, combating climate change, in multilateral formats, and on health protection. The EU should follow China’s geopolitical activity and continue highlighting compliance with the human rights principles.
In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the ways must be considered of how to develop the manufacturing of strategic goods in Europe. The COVID-19 crisis has also demonstrated that is essential to continue to exert effort in combating disinformation.
Minister Rinkēvičs supported the Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on Hong Kong. Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed concern over the latest developments in Hong Kong and the decision taken by the National People’s Congress of China on a national security law for Hong Kong. It is important that Hong Kong’s autonomy be respected in line with the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle.