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EU’s von der Leyen to urge ‘fair’ China competition in talks with Xi

EU’s von der Leyen to urge
[Annegret Hilse/Reuters] [Annegret Hilse/Reuters]
EU’s von der Leyen to urge
[Annegret Hilse/Reuters] [Annegret Hilse/Reuters]

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EU’s von der Leyen to urge: During her meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, EU leader Ursula von der Leyen stressed the need for honest and transparent rivalry between the two countries. Current disparities in market access are a cause for concern, and their resolution is urgently needed, according to von der Leyen, head of the European Commission.

European Union officials are looking into the business dealings of Chinese enterprises doing business in the union, which is why Xi is visiting Europe at the same time. The European Commission has recently launched an investigation into the treatment of European medical equipment suppliers in China’s market. This examination is the latest in a series that has targeted Chinese companies in the wind, solar, electric vehicle (EV), and rail industries.

Chinese electric vehicle producers, helped along by large government subsidies, have presented a threat to Volkswagen and Renault and other European automakers. Concerns about Chinese spying and military cooperation with Russia in the midst of the crisis in Ukraine are also shared by EU authorities.

The EU’s position on its relationship with China was restated by von der Leyen, who underlined the relationship’s complexity and significance. While the US is taking a policy of full decoupling from the Chinese economy, the EU is taking a more measured approach to reducing risks in its connections with China.

The European Union will not abide policies that distort markets, as von der Leyen emphasized. She brought up the fact that, because of local demand being so low and government subsidies being so large, China is producing too much, especially in industries like steel and electric vehicles. According to von der Leyen, she plans to urge Xi to deal with these overcapacity issues.

With tensions rising between China and the United States, Xi’s visit is seen as a litmus test for the European Union’s capacity to manage its relationship with China. There is still no consensus among European politicians on how to address the US-China competition, despite widespread recognition of China’s rising importance and might.

While Xi is in France for a state visit, President Emmanuel Macron has called for a middle ground in Europe’s dealings with the United States and China. He wants to find a middle ground in geopolitical ties and has warned against Europe becoming too strongly aligned with either side.

Serbia and Hungary, two countries that have had cordial relations with Beijing, will be Xi’s next stops after his trip to France.

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