EU: We should mitigate risks rather than diverge with China

Von der Leyen spoke at the European Parliament (EP) General Assembly session on the EU’s development of a coherent strategy in its relations with China.

Referring to the impressions he got from his visit to China simultaneously with French President Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of April, von der Leyen said that he admires the history, culture and society of this country.

Von der Leyen explained that the visit was beneficial to convey Brussels’ message to Beijing, and that it should be seen as a fundamental part of efforts to reduce misunderstandings and reduce risk through diplomacy, “I stated that we do not want to sever our economic, social, political and scientific ties in Beijing.” said.

EU Commission President von der Leyen pointed out that instead of “decomposing” with China, there is a need to work to de-risk some important and sensitive parts of relations.

political tensions

Underlining that the starting point will be to clearly identify risks and opportunities in relations with China, von der Leyen said that China’s general strategic stance has hardened in recent years, examples of this being seen in the South and East China Sea and the Indian border.

Von der Leyen stated that China’s stance in these regions directly affects the legitimate interests of the EU’s partners and explained the EU’s stance on Taiwan:

“The EU’s one-China policy has been going on for a long time. We have consistently called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. We strongly oppose any unilateral change of the status quo, especially by force.”

human rights violations

“We should never hesitate to talk about the deeply worrying and grave human rights violations in Xinjiang (Uyghur Autonomous Region), just as China is increasing its military stance,” said the President of the European Commission. said.

Von der Leyen, who stated that China applied some tactics, said, “I would like to express my solidarity with the EP members who were unjustly sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party just for voicing human rights violations. China has moved from the era of ‘reform and opening’ to the era of ‘security and control’. It’s going right.” made its assessment.

Economic relations

Stating that China is an active economic power and a global player today, and that it has become a pioneer in many of the advanced technologies that will shape the coming years, von der Leyen said, “This international and economic situation and our own interests make it even more important for Europe to manage its relations with China. ” said.

Pointing out that there are risks and opportunities in relations with China, von der Leyen said, “For Europe, separation with China is not a valid, preferred or practical option.” used the phrase.

“China has increased its economic and trade pressure policy in the last 1 year.” Von der Leyen said that the country moved away from open market and free trade logic and prioritized security.

“China is clearly pursuing a policy of increasing the world’s dependence on itself while reducing its dependence on the world,” von der Leyen said. made its assessment.

Pointing out that China has applied this in areas such as critical raw materials, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biotechnology, von der Leyen said that an approach should be developed for the country’s economic and security challenges.

Von der Leyen said, “China is a vital trading partner with whom we have strong ties in many areas. Our daily trade with China amounts to 2.3 billion euros. Much of our trade remains mutually beneficial. However, there is an urgent need to rebalance our relationship on the basis of transparency, predictability and reciprocity. ” said.

Equal terms of competition with China under Explaining what they want to do, von der Leyen pointed out that China should make its support transparent and respect intellectual property rights.

Von der Leyen reminded that there are some areas where trade and investments pose risks to their economic and national security, and stated that China has clearly combined its military and commercial sectors.

“The center of our future China strategy should be economic risk reduction.” said von der Leyen, pointing to the importance of Europe increasing its own resilience and independence.

Von der Leyen stressed the importance of Europe being resilient and independent in the fields of energy, health, medicine, food security and defense capability.

Von der Leyen stated that the EU should be more courageous in using existing commercial defense tools and that in some critical sectors, European companies should prevent their capital, expertise and knowledge from being used to strengthen the military and intelligence capabilities of their systemic rivals.

Von der Leyen stated that they will prepare a new economic security strategy in the coming months on this issue and emphasized the importance of EU countries acting together without division on the Chinese strategy.

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