Chinese authorities have pulled the pre-recorded speech by European Council president Charles Michel set for the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) held on November 4.
Reuters cited Barend Leyts, a spokesman for Michel, saying that Michel was invited to speak in fifth place at CIIE in Shanghai. The video of the speech was sent to this forum. Ultimately, however, Michel’s speech did not appear.
In the speech that was canceled, besides condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Charles Michel also mentioned sensitive issues for China’s regime.
The anonymous diplomats told Reuters that Michel says in his pre-recorded video that the E.U. has relied too much on Russia for fossil fuels. This leads to a trade imbalance.
Therefore Michel wishes that the E.U. needs to balance its trade relations to avoid dependence, and “This is also true of our trade relations with China.”
Michel was to say, “China has a role in using its influence to stop Russia’s brutal war… through your so-called “no-limits” partnership with Russia.”
“You, China, can help put an end to this,” the European Council president suggests.
Reuters asked Chinese diplomats to comment on the cancellation of the European Council president’s speech at the CIIE.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “I am not aware of the relevant situation.”
“I cannot comment on this,” Zhao added.