China and the European Union are set to hold a climate-centered summit in Brussels, which comes on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Scheduled on June 2, the summit is expected to make a strong statement from China and the EU that supports the Paris climate agreement, U.S. News reported. The event is also seen to send a message of disavowal for trade protectionism, especially amid Trump's proposed trade policies.
China had asked for the summit to be held earlier than its usual schedule in July to "press home President Xi Jinping's defense of open trade" at the World Economic Forum in January as an answer to Trump's "protective" position, U.S. News wrote.
The date was reportedly agreed upon when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini in April.
"The EU and China will send a very, very clear message that we will stick to the Paris climate agreement regardless of what the United States does," an EU official was quoted as saying by U.S News. "Climate is a big part of the summit. It is very high on the agenda."
The two economic superpowers are expected to support the climate agreement regardless of Trump's opposition.
In 2012, the U.S. president posted on his Twitter account that "the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
Trump later backtracked on this statement and said that it was only a joke.
China is trying a more open approach to trading as the U.S. takes a protective stance against foreign businesses under Trump's administration.
Beijing said that it is looking forward to a "strong and united" Europe and remains concerned over Brexit's impact on the EU, its biggest trading partner.