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EU and China postpone Leipzig summit due to coronavirus as Europe seeks broader scrutiny of foreign investment

EU and China postpone Leipzig summit due to coronavirus as Europe seeks broader scrutiny of foreign investment

A summit between China and the European Union, planned for September in the German city of Leipzig, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the German government has said.

The decision was made after Chancellor Angela Merkel held separate phone calls with Chinese President Xi Jinping and European Council President Charles Michel, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday. “They agreed that the meeting cannot take place at the envisaged time given the pandemic but should be rescheduled,” Seibert added.

A similar summit that was due to take place at the end of March in China was also postponed. EU states had wanted to use the summits to push Beijing to give European companies equal treatment and put an end to the practice of forcing foreign firms to share know-how when operating in China, according to Reuters.

The European Commission has called for tougher scrutiny of foreign investment in the bloc, a public draft document showed on Thursday. The move is widely viewed as an effort to shield more sectors from potential Chinese buyers.

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