“Now we have to recognise that the world and China have modified within the final three years – and we have to reassess CAI in mild of our wider China technique,” she mentioned, in a uncommon touch upon the deal that would seem to attract a line below its future.
The combative speech set out von der Leyen’s stall forward of a visit with French President Emmanuel Macron subsequent week to China, the place she is about to fulfill Chinese language President Xi Jinping.
“The CCP’s clear purpose is a systemic change of the worldwide order with China at its centre. Now we have seen it with China’s positions in multilateral our bodies which present its willpower to advertise an alternate imaginative and prescient of the world order,” von der Leyen mentioned, in a reference to the ruling Communist Get together of China.
The German politician mentioned Xi’s go to to Moscow final week was a “stark reminder” of Beijing’s world goals.
“Removed from being delay by the atrocious and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, President Xi is sustaining his ‘no limits friendship’ with Putin’s Russia,” she mentioned.
“However there was a change of dynamic within the relationship between China and Russia. It’s clear from the go to that China sees Putin’s weak spot as a method to improve its leverage over Russia,” she continued, including that the “energy stability in that relationship has now reversed”.
Von der Leyen rejected China’s proposals for peace in Ukraine, however mentioned: “China has a duty to play a constructive position in advancing a simply peace.”
“Ukraine will outline the phrases of a simply peace, that requires the withdrawal of invading troops. Any peace plan which might in impact consolidate Russian annexations is solely not a viable plan,” she mentioned, including that Beijing’s shut ties with Moscow would “be a figuring out issue for EU-China relations going ahead”.
Von der Leyen insisted, nonetheless, that the EU was not looking for to decouple from China, and reiterated her earlier suggestion of “de-risking” the connection each in financial and political methods.
Most commerce was not “dangerous”, she mentioned, however China’s alleged historical past of compelled expertise switch, and its shift in focus to “management and safety” – on the expense of financial opening – required a shift in coverage from Europe.
“Our relationships are usually not black or white – and our response can’t be both. For this reason we have to deal with de-risking – not decoupling. And that is a part of the explanation why I’ll quickly be visiting Beijing along with President Macron,” von der Leyen mentioned.
However whereas she left the door open for collaboration on areas like biodiversity, local weather change and world well being, the European Fee president mentioned that area for working collectively was narrowing, significantly within the financial sphere.
China had turned the web page on the period of “reform and opening” and was “transferring into a brand new period of safety and management”, von der Leyen mentioned.
“We noticed this earlier this month, when President Xi repeated his pledge to make the Chinese language army a ‘nice wall of metal that successfully safeguards nationwide sovereignty, safety, and improvement pursuits’.”
“All firms in China, for instance, are already obliged by legislation to help state intelligence-gathering operations and to maintain it secret,” she added, in an indication that Brussels would proceed to squeeze Chinese language corporations over safety considerations.
Her wide-ranging tackle panned China on every part from human rights to financial coercion.
China was “turning into extra repressive at residence and extra assertive overseas”, she mentioned.
“The grave human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang are additionally a trigger for excellent concern, as specified by the latest report of the UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights.”
The speech comes amid a broad effort from European leaders to interact diplomatically with China. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez meets Xi on Friday, whereas high EU diplomat Josep Borrell will cease off in Beijing on his method to the Group of Seven international ministers’ assembly in Japan in April.
Their high goal is to enlist China’s assist to finish the warfare in Ukraine, although observers are sceptical as to how far Beijing is keen to go on that entrance.
“This can’t occur except the proper situations happen,” mentioned Fabian Zuleeg, chief government on the European Coverage Centre assume tank, which co-hosted the occasion the place von der Leyen delivered the keynote tackle.
The opposite host was the Mercator Institute for China Research – an entity focused by Beijing’s sanctions in 2021.
“I wish to categorical my solidarity with you and all the opposite people and establishments who’ve been unfairly sanctioned by the Chinese language authorities,” von der Leyen instructed the researchers.
This text was initially revealed by scmp.com. Learn the unique article right here.
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