Reuters reports "The European Union will weigh a more defensive strategy on China on Thursday, signaling a possible end to the unfettered access Chinese business has enjoyed in Europe but which Beijing has failed to reciprocate. Caught between a new U.S.-Chinese rivalry for economic and military power, EU leaders will try to find an elusive middle path during a summit dinner in Brussels, the first time they have discussed at the highest level how to deal with Beijing. But despite the stance Brussels wants to foster, Italy — where euroskeptics share power — prepared to receive Chinese President Xi Jinping for a visit during which he was expected to sign major bilateral trade deals with Rome. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of a 'European awakening' that China is seeking to produce sophisticated products that will compete with those made in Europe."
CNBC reports, "U.S. officials seeking a China trade deal are focused on long-term changes to that nation's economy. But President Donald Trump is set on reducing the trade deficit, and is pushing his negotiators to get China to agree to purchase more goods, according to two people briefed on discussions. China has offered to purchase up to $1.2 trillion in U.S. energy, agriculture and aircraft products over a period of six years. When the offer was first reported — a month and a half after it was discussed by Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G20 in Buenos Aires — the market jumped, a signal that investors viewed the offer as a substantial bargaining chip to win over the president. But Trump has long wanted a number 'double or triple' China's $1.2 trillion proposal, these people said, requesting anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discussions."
Bloomberg reports, "European allies see a threat to sovereignty, the U.S. is flagging the risks of Beijing's growing influence, and half of the Italian government is so uncomfortable that their leader, Matteo Salvini, is leaving town for the day. And all the same, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday in Rome will sign Italy up to China's Belt and Road Initiative, a transcontinental infrastructure project that critics say allows Beijing to trade present-day investment for future leverage. Italy's state lender may also get a green light from Chinese authorities to issue renminbi-denominated bonds, further deepening ties. The memorandum on Belt and Road will be the centerpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Europe and will make Italy the first Group of Seven nation to sign up. Xi's stay in the capital will include a gala dinner with President Sergio Mattarella and a meeting with business leaders, according to Italian officials."