Merkel cancels November EU summit in Berlin over virus outbreak

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, October 16, cancelled a November 26 EU leaders' summit in Berlin that was to have discussed relations with China due to the coronavirus.

"In the context of the pandemic, we have made it clear that we will not allow the informal summit to take place. We must do without it," Merkel told reporters after a summit in Brussels.

Germany, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, called the meeting as the 27 member states struggle to unite behind a more assertive stance towards Beijing, with increasing worries over human rights and unfair trade.

Berlin is especially eager to clinch a EU-China investment deal by the end of the year and the summit would have helped unite the European position.

China says a deal can be agreed this year, but EU officials insist they will not accept unfavorable terms simply to conclude the talks. – Rappler.com