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China’s commerce chief to go to Brussels as EU commerce relations bitter

On Thursday, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen laid out a blueprint for a harder China strategy, targeted on financial safety, which will probably be adopted up in coverage type earlier than the top of the yr.

“We have to be sure that our firms’ capital, experience, and data will not be used to boost the navy and intelligence capabilities of those that are additionally systemic rivals,” von der Leyen stated.

The German insisted she was not looking for to decouple from China, however made clear that areas of cooperation have been turning into few and much between.

“There are some islands of alternative that we will construct on,” she stated, earlier than including that an EU-China funding pact agreed in 2020 and frozen on account of sanctions wanted to be “reassessed”.

The Chinese language mission to the EU didn’t instantly reply to a request to touch upon von der Leyen’s speech.

Wang will little question be eager to debate a raft of laws focusing on China that’s being drafted in Brussels.

The bloc is engaged on legal guidelines that may wean it off China’s dominant provides of vital minerals like lithium and cobalt, and one other that may strengthen home manufacturing of unpolluted know-how akin to photo voltaic and wind tools, on the expense of Chinese language suppliers.

On Tuesday, the EU finalised the textual content of an anti-coercion instrument, designed to chew again at perceived financial bullying by Beijing.

Chinese language firms in Europe, in the meantime, are dealing with blowback over safety issues, significantly within the know-how sector. Chinese language-owned video app TikTok has been banned on work telephones in EU establishments, with a number of nationwide governments following go well with.

Huawei Applied sciences, the Chinese language telecoms large, has been frozen out of many EU member states’ 5G infrastructures. On Tuesday, Politico reported that Belgium’s intelligence service was investigating Huawei’s lobbying operations in Brussels for potential espionage.

Nonetheless, the EU stays open to speaking to China, Von der Leyen will be a part of French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing subsequent week for a gathering with Chinese language President Xi Jinping.

In a diplomatic flurry, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will meet Xi on Friday, whereas the EU’s prime diplomat Josep Borrell will go to in mid-April.

In latest days, Wang has tried to reassure Western firms that China would proceed to supply bountiful market alternatives.

On Tuesday, he met the chief govt of Dutch hi-tech producer ASML, Peter Wennink, and advised him Beijing would stay a dependable companion.

Based on a Chinese language readout of the assembly, Wang advised Wennink he “hopes ASML will keep its confidence in investing and collaborating with China, and make vital contributions to China-Netherlands financial cooperation”.

This comes because the Netherlands mulls limiting Chinese language entry to ASML’s hi-tech semiconductor-making machines. ASML is the world chief in producing the subtle – and costly – photolithography machines which can be important to creating superior microchips.

Earlier this month, China’s envoy to the Netherlands warned that such a transfer would “not be with out penalties”.

“I’m not going to take a position on countermeasures, however China gained’t simply swallow this,” ambassador Tan Jian stated in an interview with Het Financieele Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper.

Wang additionally met Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner on the margins of this week’s Boao Discussion board in Hainan province, the place they mentioned stabilising provide chains.

Based on the commerce ministry, Wang advised Prepare dinner that China was prepared to supply atmosphere and providers for overseas firms, together with Apple.

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