Chinese state media has promoted the message that the EU is on China’s side
Donald Trump is due to slap as much as $34billion (£25 billion) of Chinese exports with 25 percent tariffs.
In response, China asked the EU, which is the world’s largest trading bloc, for an alliance against the US while promising to open up more of China’s economy to European competitors.
Chinese state media has promoted the message that the EU is on China’s side.
State mouthpiece Xinhua news agency said: “China and Europe should resist trade protectionism hand in hand.
“China and European countries are natural partners.
“They firmly believe that free trade is a powerful engine for global economic growth.”
But the EU rejected any idea of allying with China against Washington ahead of a Sino-European summit in Beijing on July 16-17.
A European diplomat said: “China wants the European Union to stand with Beijing against Washington, to take sides.
But the EU rejected any idea of allying with China against Washington
“We won’t do it and we have told them that.”
The summit is expected to produce a “modest communique” and affirm the commitment of both sides to the multilateral trading system.
They will also discuss setting up a working group on modernising the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
But the last two summits in 2016 and 2017 ended without a statement due to disagreements over the South China Sea and trade.
Brussels officials are looking to negotiate a new deal with the US President, who is a fierce critic of the EU’s trade policy.
The EU currently imposes tariffs of 10 percent on imports of US-built cars, compared to Washington’s 2.5 percent levy on European car imports.
Any move to lower the punitive tariffs would be warmly welcomed by Trump.
The news comes ahead of a meeting between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the US leader later this month.