Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Joint Statement on the Consultations between European External Action Service Secretary General Sannino and United States Under Secretary Nuland

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the European Union.

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On February 7-8, 2024, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and Secretary General Stefano Sannino held the sixth high-level meeting of the U.S.-EU Dialogue on China and the fifth meeting of the U.S.-EU High-Level Consultations on the Indo-Pacific.

Under Secretary Nuland and Secretary General Sannino discussed U.S. and EU diplomacy with China and the trajectory of their respective bilateral relationships.  They stressed the importance of recent high-level exchanges and keeping open channels of communication with China to manage competition responsibly.  They affirmed the importance of close coordination between the United States and the European Union in advancing shared objectives and common values and interests.  Under Secretary Nuland and Secretary General Sannino reiterated their openness to continued substantive engagement with China both where there are areas of common interest and on areas of difference.

Under Secretary Nuland and Secretary General Sannino expressed concern about entities supporting Russia’s defense industrial base through sanctions circumvention and provision of dual-use goods which enable Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.  They confirmed transatlantic alignment on pressing China to assume a positive role in ending Russia’s war against Ukraine, including by engaging China to support and contribute to discussions on Ukraine’s Peace Formula – a comprehensive basis for a just and sustainable peace – in line with continued efforts to uphold the international system and international law, including the UN Charter.

With a view to enabling sustainable economic relations with China, and strengthening the international trading system, they acknowledged the need to push for a level economic playing field for their workers and companies.  The United States and the EU both seek to address the challenges posed by China’s non-market policies and practices.  Both sides confirmed their intention to continue de-risking by investing in their resilience and reducing critical dependencies and vulnerabilities.

Under Secretary Nuland and Secretary General Sannino also discussed the need for increased global awareness and decisive action to address continued human rights abuses by China.  They noted in particular the cases of unjust and arbitrary detentions in China and called upon China to release these individuals.  They committed to continue working on countering China’s tactics of transnational repression, which targets individuals around the world.  Both sides committed to follow up on issues of concern raised during China’s fourth Universal Periodic Review led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The United States and European Union affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and called for the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.  They welcomed Taiwan’s vibrant democratic process, including the presidential and legislative elections in January.  They expressed support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations.  Both sides reaffirmed there is no change in their basic positions on Taiwan, including stated one China policies.

Under Secretary Nuland and Secretary General Sannino also held the fifth meeting of the High-Level Consultations on the Indo-Pacific.  They discussed ongoing and mutual strong support of a free and open Indo-Pacific which is inclusive, prosperous, secure, based on the rule of law; and protects shared principles including sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes, fundamental freedoms and human rights.  They shared their respective assessments on geopolitical trends shaping the situation in the Indo-Pacific.  They called for continued coordination to protect maritime security and uphold navigational rights and freedoms in the Red Sea, a vital trade waterway with global importance.  They continued discussions on current challenges in the South China Sea, Myanmar, and the DPRK, including the DPRK’s arms transfers to Russia and Russia’s use of DPRK ballistic missiles in Ukraine.

They reaffirmed the importance of U.S. and EU combined initiatives on regional connectivity, notably in the framework of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) and the EU’s Global Gateway.  The United States and the European Union share a commitment to building clean energy connectivity across the Indo-Pacific, with an initial focus on Vietnam under the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), and on South Asia.  They pledged to explore further coordination on their support for Indo-Pacific partners on port modernization, security and safety, as well as digital connectivity infrastructure and modernization.

They highlighted ongoing efforts to advance U.S.-EU cooperation on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific and underlined their intention to continue joint activities in the region.  They also agreed to continue to explore the EU’s planned participation in events organized by INDOPACOM.  They reiterated their shared commitment to continue enhancing maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Indo-Pacific and highlighted the concrete steps to deepen complementarity between the U.S. SeaVision and EU-funded IORIS systems, now described as a joint paper.  They also committed to expand maritime security cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners on wide ranging areas.

They discussed ongoing and increasing engagement in the Indian Ocean Region, including the need to support Small Island Developing States, especially in view of the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) to be held in May 2024.

They assessed the continued threat posed by widespread use of foreign information manipulation and interference, and committed to further joint work with Indo-Pacific partners to pursue complementary lines of effort to deepen support of free and resilient media environments.

They discussed dedicated joint efforts under the annual U.S.-EU Cyber Dialogue that are supporting Indo-Pacific Partners in implementing cyber capacity-building efforts and developing confidence building measures, including in the context of the ASEAN Regional Forum.  Under Secretary Nuland welcomed EU participation in U.S.-hosted cyber conferences in Sri Lanka and Singapore later this month.  The United States and the European Union remain committed to advance responsible state behavior in cyberspace, including through joint efforts to establish a UN Programme of Action.

They noted progress made to support the Pacific Island countries (PICs) and affirmed their commitment to deepen cooperation with likeminded partners to support regional capacity building and infrastructure projects.

They reiterated our shared values and commitment to explore ways in the Indo-Pacific region to advance the human rights of all and end the discrimination and violence against persons on the grounds of their gender and sexual orientation.

Under Secretary Nuland and Secretary General Sannino reaffirmed the intent of the U.S. Department of State and the European External Action Service to continue close coordination on China and the Indo-Pacific and to hold the next round of talks in Brussels later this year.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS