EU countries will become less dependent on China – Dagsavisen

Borrell said the foreign ministers of member states, who met in Stockholm on Friday, broadly agreed on plans to change China’s policies and put more emphasis on China’s role as a political rival.

At the same time, Beijing should be considered as a partner in global affairs and as an economic competitor, the statement continued.

Must learn from mistakes

– Colleagues welcomed the proposal we submitted. They agreed on the basic principles of recalibrating China’s strategy, Borrell told reporters after the meeting.

– When the addiction is too big, it is a risk, he added.

Borrell further said that the EU should learn from the “strategic mistakes” that member states made in the years before the war in Ukraine, when they relied on Russian gas.

Today, the EU is even more dependent on China for essential technologies such as solar panels and necessary materials, than the EU is on Russian gas, according to Borrell. He emphasized that the goal is not to disconnect European and Chinese economies from one another, but rather to give relations a new balance.

Taiwan alert

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis warned that while the EU may not want to secede economically, it must be prepared for such a scenario.

– One must consider the possibility of termination. Not because we want it, like Russia, not because we provide it, but because the situation, for example in the Taiwan Strait, has been forcibly changed, he said.

The proposal must now be adjusted before being presented to European Union leaders, who are expected to discuss China at a meeting in June.

Several reasons

The plan is the latest attempt to strike a balance between the views of EU member states and create a common approach to China, while maintaining a close partnership with the US.

The proposal stated that coordination with the US would “remain essential”. But it also said the EU “should not follow the mindset of a zero-sum game where there can only be one winner in the binary competition between the US and China”.

In a letter attached to the proposal, Borrell wrote that there are at least three reasons why the EU should reconsider its China policy.

They are that China is changing with “increasing nationalism and ideology”, more confrontational competition between the US and China, and that China is an important player in regional and global affairs.

The proposal also states that the EU should find multiple sources of important supplies, especially in sectors that are “vital in the green and digital shift”. In particular, reference is made to telecommunications, batteries, raw materials and essential minerals.

Georgie Burke

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