BEIJING — European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will visit Beijing on July 9 and 10 for talks aimed at boosting coordination on foreign affairs and security, a European diplomatic source said.
The third round of the high level EU-China Strategic Dialogue will see Ashton meet Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as State Councillor Dai Bingguo, who is in charge of foreign policy, and Defence Minister Liang Guanglie.
The first Strategic Dialogue was attended by Ashton and Dai in September 2010 in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou. The second meeting was held in Hungary in May 2011.
At the last EU-China summit, which was delayed from October 2011 to February 2012 because of the European sovereign debt crisis, China renewed its support for the euro.
The third Strategic Dialogue will help prepare the ground for the next EU-China summit in Brussels in the autumn.
The EU is the largest market for Chinese exporters, who are suffering the effects of the European economic crisis.
After Beijing, Ashton will visit Hong Kong on July 11 before traveling to Cambodia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional forum.