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Von der Leyen shows clear lines toward Beijing

Shortly before her first trip to Beijing as head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen gave an idea of what she has to say in the Chinese capital in a surprisingly clear speech on EU-China relations. At the event organized by the think tanks European Policy Center and the Beijing-sanctioned Merics Institute in Brussels on Thursday, she advocated a joint EU-wide China policy. She called for “de-risking” in strategic areas rather than full decoupling. The EU triad of “partner, competitor, rival” usually repeated by officials to describe the relationship with the People’s Republic went unmentioned.

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