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The 20th China-EU annual summit is marked by trade issues, both bilateral and global, especially as a result of the new tariffs that US President Donald Trump has imposed on Beijing.

On the eve of his meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Sunday rattled allies once more by labeling the European Union a "foe" with regard to trade.

Separately, Trump is engaged in a trade war with China over the aggressive tactics Beijing has used to challenge USA technological dominance.

Long accused of protectionist tactics that make it a hard place for foreign firms to operate, China is trying to reverse that narrative amid the escalating trade war by approving huge investments, such as a US$10 billion petrochemicals project by Germany's BASF.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's worldwide broadcaster, both sides are expected to express their support for a rules-based global trading system, governed under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Trump administration has criticized the WTO for encroaching on USA legal sovereignty and failing to rein in China's alleged violation of global trading rules. Putin, meanwhile, said "the time has come to have a thorough discussion on various worldwide problems and sensitive issues".

"Today we are facing a dilemma, whether to play a tough game, such as tariff wars and conflict in places like Ukraine and Syria, or to look for common solutions based on fair rules".

Last week, Mr Tusk lambasted the United States president's constant criticism of European allies and urged him to remember who his friends are when he meets Mr Putin.

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The US last week threatened yet more measures on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to vow further retaliation. That was in response to complaints Beijing is hurting American companies by stealing or pressuring enterprises to hand over technology.

Trade between the United States and China totaled more than $635 billion in 2017, with a goods trade deficit favoring China of $375.2 billion, the U.S.

Li said China wanted to improve the authority of the WTO, but did not elaborate.

He has said he is willing to raise duties on more than 500 billion dollars (£377 billion) of imports, or nearly everything Americans buy from China. Beijing is trying to recruit support, so far in vain, from Europe, South Korea and other governments.

Despite the two sides finding themselves on the same page with regard to tariffs, observers say it's unlikely that Brussels and Beijing will form an alliance against Washington.

Beijing retaliated by imposing the same penalty on a similar amount of American imports.

If the United States "continues to punish [Chinese telecom firm] Huawei and other Chinese firms, China could sanction Apple to hit back at American corporations", the report read. The attempts do, however, provide some insight into Chinese economic goals as Beijing attempts to incentivize certain European political decisions through offers to open up new parts of its own economy for European investment.

At the business event, Li invited executives from European companies operating in China to share their problems.

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