While for a long time we have defined our relationship with China solely on trade, it is time to recognise that China is much more than an interesting trade partner. We are confronted with an assertive Chinese leadership that shows tendencies to impose its illiberal views on the world. China is, as the Commission highlighted in 2019, our negotiating partner, economic competitor but also systemic rival promoting governance models that contradict our Western values.

While balancing the relationship with the country, the EU must recognise that the new US administration offers an excellent opportunity to create an extensive and comprehensive joint EU-US partnership vis à vis China, based on a broad spectrum of policy area’s such as on security, trade, intelligence, climate, multilateral institutions and treaties, human rights and diplomacy.

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