EU Builds Ties with Asia in Face of US Protectionism
European leaders sought to build support from Asia Thursday in defence of free trade and the fight against climate change, to counter the growing protectionism of President Donald Trump's America.
The 28 EU states were joined at a summit in Brussels by more than 20 Asian leaders including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japan's Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, reports AFP.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is also attending, despite tensions over Moscow's alleged cyber attacks on international institutions and European democracy.
Amid bitter tariff disputes with Washington, the leaders are expected to use the two days of talks to give their backing to the global trading system based on the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
"To those who prefer quick fixes without clear rules I say it's not worth it. A world without rules is by definition a world of chaos," EU Council President Donald Tusk said as he opened the summit.
EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini insisted as she arrived that it was not an "anti-Trump" meeting, before enumerating most of the current areas of difference between Europe and the United States.
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