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“Cooperation, competition, rivalry”: the European Union puts a paper on …

“Cooperation, competition, rivalry”: the European Union puts a paper on …

How the EU deals with China depends on Beijing’s behaviour, the document says. Coordination with the United States remains “essential”.

The European External Action Service presented plans to realign EU policy towards China on Friday. The EU authority has already sent the seven-page document to EU governments. “Cooperation, competition and rivalry will remain at the heart of EU policy towards China, although the focus on these different elements may vary depending on China’s behaviour,” said the newspaper, which was seen by Reuters news agency.

The document also said that coordination with the United States “remains necessary.” In a letter accompanying the proposal, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, explained that there are at least three reasons for the “recalibration” of China’s policy. This is the extent to which China is changing with the rise of nationalism and ideology, the intensification of competition between the United States and China, and thirdly, the fact that China is a major player in regional and global issues. In order to reduce the EU’s economic dependence on China, the paper proposes to closely examine investments and tighten export controls.

European Union foreign ministers discuss China

The EU’s relations with China will also be a topic at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Sweden. In a major speech at the end of March, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for a rebalancing of relations with the world’s most populous country. She stressed that the European Union must become more independent and reduce economic risks, for example in the supply chains of European companies. However, it is not in the interest of the European Union to separate itself from China.

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Jake Sullivan, the US security adviser, and Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, met in Austria on Wednesday and Thursday for a high-level meeting on the crisis. This was kept secret for the time being and was only made public on Thursday evening. Topics include: Ukraine and Taiwan.

The resignation of the US Secretary of State for China Affairs

According to a media report, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is expected to step down in the summer. This was reported by US station CNN on Thursday (local time), citing people familiar with the matter. And according to CNN, her successor is not yet known. The broadcaster did not give a reason for Sherman’s possible departure. Wendy Sherman has been the Deputy Secretary of State since April 2021.

Informed sources told Reuters that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has largely delegated responsibilities for Chinese policy to Sherman. The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.