Currently the bloc is at ‘risk’ of being dependent on Beijing for technology and raw materials, EU Commission president says
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called for reducing the bloc’s reliance on China for technology and raw material supplies, warning it could find itself in the same predicament than with Russian energy supplies in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Von der Leyen made the remarks on Friday during a joint press conference with European Council President Charles Michel.
EU relations with China are likely to be affected by the strengthening of Moscow-Beijing relations, von der Leyen warned, saying the country was pursuing “dominance” in East Asia and to strengthen its “global influence”.
“At the same time, we saw, you will recall, in February, the so-called limitless partnership between Russia and China, just before the invasion of Ukraine. These developments will affect EU-China relations,” she stated.
The Chinese system is fundamentally different from ours. And we are aware of the nature of the rivalry.
Therefore, the block must guard against becoming “addicted” on China by all means, especially on its technologies and its supply of raw materials, von der Leyen said, citing the current economic difficulties in the EU.
“We learned our lesson about Russia’s overreliance on fossil fuels, and how difficult but necessary it is to get rid of that reliance. In the case of China, it is the risk of dependence on technologies and raw materials,” she said, adding that the bloc’s priorities must be to strengthen its “own abilities”. Apart from that, the EU must “diversify the supply of raw materials towards reliable and trustworthy suppliers”, she said, without providing concrete examples.
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