BRDO, Slovenia (Reuters) -Slovenia, which holds the EU’s six-month presidency, will host an EU summit on Oct. 6 to discuss relations with China and to reinvigorate ties with the six Balkan countries that hope to join the bloc, Prime Minister Janez Jansa said on Friday.
Jansa said there were no plans to invite Chinese President Xi Jinping, because the leaders’ meeting would seek to coordinate positions on trade. Due to COVID-19, the two EU-China summits last year, in June and September, were both held via videoconference.
“On the sixth of October… there will be an extraordinary summit of the European Union that will first be dedicated to the relations with China, and then also to the relations with the representatives of the Western Balkans,” Jansa told reporters, speaking from Brdo, near the capital Ljubljana.
In May, the EU took steps to guard against economic competition from China that it deems unfair. Next year, the European Parliament is expected consider whether to ratify a new investment deal with Beijing that was struck at the end of last year.
The approval process has been frozen after China imposed retaliatory sanctions on EU lawmakers following Western sanctions over Beijing’s treatment of minority Muslim Uighurs in far west Xinjiang.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska, William Maclean)