In a major virtual summit with EU leaders on Monday, the Chinese president offered a four-point agenda for development of relations with the 27-nation bloc.

“China and the EU should adhere to peaceful coexistence, openness and cooperation, multilateralism,” Xi Jinping told the China-Germany-EU meeting from the capital Beijing, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Xi stressed on dialogue and consultation for the “sound and stable development” of China-EU relations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also attended the meeting.

The summit comes amid rising hostilities between Beijing and Washington, including a broadening trade war and accusations over the origins of coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.

Even European countries have censured Beijing over a new security law on Hong Kong that allegedly curtails basic rights. The EU also wants stronger commitments on climate change from China, the world’s top polluter.

The summit stressed the need to “accelerate” negotiations for an investment treaty, and “wrap up talks by the end of 2020,” the state-sponsored Global Times newspaper reported.

It was agreed that the two sides will set up high-level dialogue on environment and climate as well, it said.

– EU, China sign food protection deal

Meanwhile, ahead of the challenging discussions, the two sides signed an agreement to protect each other’s exported food and drink items from “usurpation and imitation.”

They will respect the names, or geographical indications (GI), a label used on a product to specify its origin, of 100 European regional food designations and 100 Chinese equivalents.

“The EU list of GIs to be protected in China includes iconic GI products such as Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Munchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego,” said an EU statement.

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