European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined her vision for the future of EU-China relations at a speech in Brussels on Thursday.
"It is clear that our relations have become more distant and more difficult in the last few years," she said, but added, "I believe it is neither viable or in Europe's interest to de-couple from China."
In the speech at the European Policy Centre and Mercator Institute for China Studies, ahead of a trip with French President Emmanuel Macron to China next week, von der Leyen said Europe should rather "de-risk" its relationship with China.
Tensions between the EU and Beijing significantly worsened over a host of issues, including the Taiwan question, China's repression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and the EU's WTO dispute with China over its trade restrictions against member state Lithuania.
"These escalatory actions point to a China that is becoming more repressive at home and more assertive abroad," von der Leyen said.
There is also concern over Beijing's refusal to condemn Russia's war in Ukraine and its close ties to Moscow.
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