EU-China relations should pass through a structured dialogue in order to minimise risks, focusing on issues that are important to European values without lowering the threshold on principles, Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said on Friday before the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (known as Gymnich) which is taking place in Stockholm.

Kombos explained that the EU’s foreign ministers have two main issues on the agenda, which is the bloc’s support for Ukraine and the complex relations between EU and China.

Regarding EU-China relations, Kombos said that the Cypriot position “is that this is a very complex, yet very important relation” and that “structured dialogue could help to minimise the risks” as this “will be the best interest of the European Union and also of its security autonomy”.

Kombos explained that China is “a huge trading partner, a country that can be a competitor, can also be a country that you cannot ignore.”

“So we have to be realist about that and trying to focus on the issues that are very important to European values. I will not lower the threshold of our principles, but you need to be very careful how to structure this approach for mutual benefit” he added.

Responding to a question on the Cypriot position on Taiwan, the foreign minister explained that the country supports the “one China” policy.

“This is something that we feel very strongly about, anything having to do with sovereignty and territorial integrity” he said, adding that the EU as whole “should be very careful in relation to this issue.”

“This is a red line, and this is something that we have to be very cautious about” he said, including “trying to avoid anything that could be an imaginative way of upgrading status in any kind of form.”

Regarding Ukraine, Kombos said that he expects that the foreign ministers will be “reiterating our full and unified support and also be assessing the effectiveness of our comprehensive approach in order to make it even better.” He added that the ministers will also discuss how to “further the support from our global partners” to Ukraine.