Beijing’s ‘friendship’ with Moscow a ‘risk’ for the bloc, says Ursula von Der Leyen
In order to be “bolder” on China, the EU plans to reassess and “derisk” their ties, while considering Beijing’s position on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine as a crucial part of their future relationship, European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen said on Thursday.
“How China continues to interact with Putin’s war will be a determining factor for the future of EU-China relations,” she says.
It was the first time the EU chief gave a full speech on the bloc’s relationship with Beijing. She said the EU should be “bolder” in its relations with China, which has become “more repressive at home and more assertive abroad.”
The European Union must stress test And “derisk” its relations with Beijing, both politically and economically, starting with obtaining a “a clear picture of the risks” said von Der Leyen. However, she advised against decoupling from China altogether, saying it was “neither viable – nor in Europe’s interest.”
She further noted that the ties between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the Chinese and Russian leaders, were of particular concern. The two presidents met in Moscow last week and were filmed saying a warm goodbye at the end of their two-day meeting, with the Chinese leader saying they were driving geopolitical change in the world .
“Most Revealing” von der Leyen said, “were President Xi’s parting words to Putin on the steps outside the Kremlin when he said, ‘Right now there are changes, the likes of which we haven’t seen in 100 years. . And we are driving these changes together.
The Chinese Communist Party “The clear goal is a systemic change in the international order with China at its center,” said von der Leyen. “We saw the spectacle of friendship in Moscow which speaks volumes about this new vision of the international order.”
At first, von der Leyen hinted that the EU could abandon the pursuit of a major trade deal with China, which was agreed in 2020 but blocked by the European Parliament after some of its members were subjected to to sanctions by Beijing.
Next week, the EU chief will travel to China with French President Emmanuel Macron.
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