Q: There are increasing reports about Chinese repression of minorities in the Western part of the country, the establishment of re-education camps. What will Canada and the EU do about this going forward?
I can only support what Chrystia just said. This issue, as well as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, is one of the core issues we constantly address with all our partners in the world, and this includes China, in a very direct manner. I think that Canada and the European Union also have this in common: that we never put human rights issues in second place. Even when it is complicated and difficult we always stand up for human rights. There are no exemptions and no exclusion of difficult choices or difficult topics.
This doesn't imply a negative relationship with China. On the contrary, I think that recently we are witnessing a strengthening of our partnership with China, as well as with other partners in the world on different fields, notwithstanding differences we have and that remain very strong on some issues like this one or like human rights issues in China in general terms. It is not a mystery that we have different approaches and we address them both bilaterally with China very openly and directly and in multilateral fora, namely in the UN framework.
Q: Is the EU optimistic about getting a trade deal with the US and if so, what can you learn from Canada's and Mexico's deal recently?
We are always optimistic. President Juncker had a very good visit to Washington in July and a meeting with President Trump that was extremely constructive and brought good results. Now we have launched technical talks to follow that up and implement that agreement that they reached in July. So, the agreement that was reached between the US, Mexico and Canada is an encouraging signal for us. We welcome this even if it does not concern us.
As Chrystia said, we have our own trade agreement that is different and that we like a lot. We are in constructive discussions at the moment with the United States on our own trade issues.