It was a top-level summit that was supposed to emphasize the need for cooperation on global challenges.

Instead, the much-anticipated virtual meeting between the leaders of China and the European Union held earlier this month became an exchange of opposing views that highlighted the diverging paths between the two powers.

The topic du jour was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Brussels urging Beijing to take a clear stance on the war, use its “considerable influence” on Moscow to help achieve an immediate cease-fire, and give assurances it would not support Russia militarily nor help it circumvent international sanctions.