Brussels – The European Union must be prepared to take measures to protect trade and investment that China may exploit for its own security and military purposes, said European Commissioner Ursula von Chairman Der Leyen warned Thursday.
Ahead of his planned visit to China next week, von der Leyen said he would block “classified technology” that could be used for security crackdowns and limit human rights from falling into Beijing’s hands. He said that it is important to
“China’s changing policies may require the development of new defensive tools for some critical sectors,” she said. “Where dual-use objectives cannot be ruled out, or where human rights may be involved, a clear line needs to be drawn as to whether an investment or export is in our own security interests. .”
The executive branch of the EU, the Commission, manages international trade on behalf of the 27 member states and defends their member states’ interests in the World Trade Organization.
Von der Leyen said the EU should focus its defenses on “sensitive high-tech areas” such as microelectronics, quantum computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the biotechnology sector.
“We must ensure that corporate capital, expertise and knowledge are not used to strengthen the military and intelligence capabilities of those who are also systemic rivals,” Mercator China Institute.
“We need to see where there are gaps in our toolbox that could expose emerging sensitive technology through investments in other countries,” said von der Leyen. She said the focus should be on technologies that “could lead to the development of military capabilities that pose risks to national security.”
The European Commission president’s speech comes at a time when the EU is rethinking its often divisive relationship with China, especially considering China’s support for Russia’s war on Ukraine. But von der Leyen said it was important not to sever political, economic or scientific ties with such “important trading partners.”
French President Emmanuel Macron is also scheduled to visit China next week and attend several events involving von der Leyen. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was due to visit Beijing on Thursday and Friday at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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https://www.local10.com/business/2023/03/30/eu-chief-urges-caution-in-tech-trade-with-china/ EU secretary-general calls attention to technology trade with China