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International relations

Sweden-China ties grow ever icier over Hong Kong and coronavirus

Beijing's 'worst relationship' in EU gives preview of 'wolf warrior' diplomacy

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's government is caught between negative domestic perceptions of China and the dangers of antagonizing Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Source photos by Rueters)

PRAGUE -- When European Union foreign ministers held a video conference on May 29 -- the day after China approved national security legislation for Hong Kong -- only one member state asked whether Brussels should at least consider sanctioning Beijing: Sweden.

Nothing came of it. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell later brushed off the idea, telling reporters he does not "think sanctions are the way to solve problems in China."

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