March 12, 2020 / 12:50 PM / 24 days ago

EXCLUSIVE-China-EU summit to be postponed due to coronavirus - sources

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) - A summit planned for the end of March in Beijing between China and the European Union is set to be postponed due to the coronavirus, two EU officials and two diplomats said, in a blow for the bloc’s efforts to pressure the Chinese over free trade.

China never publicly gave a date for the meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the new European Commission and European Council presidents, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, but EU diplomats said March 30-31 had been agreed.

“The summit is set to be postponed, but not cancelled,” one senior EU diplomat told Reuters, echoing information from other diplomats and officials who tried to prepare the meeting. (Reporting by Robin Emmott, Francesco Guarascio and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne )

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