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EU's evolving approach towards China

Not to be outdone by the US, the EU is upping pressure on China as well.

On March 12, the European Commission released a position paper to the European Parliament, the European Council, and the Council of the European Union titled “EU-China – A strategic outlook.”

“China is, simultaneously, in different policy areas, a cooperation partner with whom the EU has closely aligned objectives, a negotiating partner with whom the EU needs to find a balance of interests, an economic competitorin the pursuit of technological leadership, and a systemic rivalpromoting alternative models of governance.”

The report complains about China’s “discriminatory” and “unpredictable” trade and investment practices and calls for a more balanced and reciprocal economic relationship.

To achieve this outcome, the paper urges the EU to:Push for WTO reform that would force China to get rid of subsidiesPass a proposed measure on procurement that would give the EU greater scope to negotiate reciprocal arrangements with ChinaEnhance industrial policy so that EU firms can better compete with China’s SOEs, especially in the fields of artificial intelligence and batteries

The Chinese have attempted to play down any tensions. Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the EU a week after the Commission released its paper, where he said:“Overall China and Europe relations are in good shape. There are far more areas where we agree than disagree.”

EU leaders discussed China at a summit on March 22 but failed to reach any formal conclusion on measures to deal with the country.
 

READ MORE
European Commission: EU-China – A strategic outlook
Reuters: Exclusive: Germany to create fund to foil foreign takeovers after China moves 

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