Shanghai will host the second China International Import Expo; the Hungarian-Turkish strategic council will focus on Syria; Ecuador’s Foreign Minister will pay a visit to China; the newly elected president of the EU will give a speech on the situation in Europe.

These are the international events under the spotlight for the week starting Nov 4.

Shanghai to host the second China International Import Expo

An aerial view of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the venue of the second China International Import Expo, on Nov 1, 2019.

President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov 5, as he did the first last year, indicating the great significance the world’s second-largest economy attaches to the event.

State leaders of France, Greece, Serbia and Jamaica will attend the expo, along with more than 140 ministerial-level foreign guests.

The second edition of the expo, which will be held from Tuesday to Nov 10, will be a larger scale event than the first and will likely attract more attention. Sixty-four countries, three international organizations and more than 3,000 companies will promote their products and services at the event. More new technologies and services than last year will debut at the expo, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Hungarian-Turkish strategic council focuses on Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) chats with Hungarian President Janos Ader as he steps out on the terrace of the presidential Alexander Palace in Budapest, Hungary, Oct 8, 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Hungary on Nov 7 to attend the Hungarian-Turkish strategic council, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Hungarian state media on Oct 15 that his country supports Turkey’s plan to move refugees into Syria, contradicting the EU’s formal opposition to Ankara’s military incursion into Syria, and the most important thing is to protect Hungarian interests and stop migration.

According to the statement, Turkey will appoint five new honorary consuls in Hungary, and Turkey will support Hungary’s bid for membership of the Executive Board of UNESCO.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister to visit China

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia speaks to the media during an interview in Quito, Ecuador, May 16, 2019. 

At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of the Republic of Ecuador Jose Valencia will pay an official visit to China from Oct 30 – Nov 4.

During the visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold with him the eighth political consultation between the two foreign ministries. The two sides will take stock of bilateral relations, explore ways to implement the two heads’ of state consensus and exchange ideas on other issues of mutual interest.

Apart from Beijing, Foreign Minister Valencia will also visit Shanghai and Xi’an.

EU President to speak on the situation in Europe

European Commission President-elect Ursula Von der Leyen arrives at the European Union leaders summit dominated by Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium, Oct 17, 2019.

European Commission President-elect Ursula Von der Leyen will give a speech on the situation in Europe in Berlin on Nov 8, with opening remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ursula Von der Leyen, a long-time close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, had been due to take over as European Commission president on Nov 1. However, her first-choice candidates from France, Hungary and Romania for the EU executive were overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament, thereby delaying the start of her commission.

Ursula von der Leyen on Oct 29 formally nominated France’s Thierry Breton and Hungary’s Oliver Varhelyi as members of the next European Commission. The French businessman and Hungarian diplomat must still be approved by MEPs, and the Romanian nomination remains vacant because of a change of government in Bucharest.

There is also a question over whether the UK will need to nominate a commissioner, as the British government has been granted a Brexit extension till Jan 31.

On Brexit, Ursula Von der Leyen said she still hopes the UK will abandon its plan to leave the EU, but also warned the country to take responsibility and “sort things out”.

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