Brussels warns Beijing that human rights are a "key element" of the European Union

 The European Union's foreign minister, Josep Borrell, warned Tuesday, during an interview with the Chinese foreign minister, that China's commitment to respecting human rights is a "key element" for a good bilateral relationship between Brussels and Beijing.

Borrell held talks with Chinese Minister Wang Yi via video conference technology within the framework of the "strategic dialogue" between the European Union and China, according to a statement issued by a spokeswoman for the European official.

Borrell stressed "the need to adhere to human rights issues and to resume dialogue between the European Union and China on human rights, the main element of a mature relationship."

"(Borrell) expressed the hope that the next meeting will take place before the end of the year," the statement added. This will be essential in addressing the differences between the European Union and China."

In March, the Europeans imposed sanctions on China for the first time over its alleged persecution of the ethnically diverse Uighur minority in Xinjiang, in the country's northwest. Beijing responded by imposing sanctions on dozens of European figures.

On Tuesday, Borrell and the Chinese foreign minister discussed the situation in Xinjiang, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.
On Taiwan, the High Representative of the European Foreign Affairs stressed that the EU "has always and will continue to implement the one-China policy in a coherent manner."

"At the same time, developing cooperation with Taiwan, an important economic partner in the region, is in the interest of the European Union and its member states, without recognizing it as a state," the statement added.

And the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, held talks with the Chinese Foreign Minister on Monday also remotely. He expressed the alliance's concerns "over the expansion of China's nuclear arsenal," calling on Beijing to accept a dialogue on arms control.

Stoltenberg stressed that China is not considered an adversary of NATO, but must respect its international obligations and act responsibly within the international system.

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