China more repressive at home, assertive abroad – EU’s von der Leyen

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BRUSSELS, March 30 (Reuters) – China’s targeting of other countries to ensure they comply with its wishes and its human rights record point to an overall hardening of its posture, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday.

“These escalatory actions point to a China that is becoming more repressive at home and more assertive abroad,” von der Leyen said in a speech in Brussels.

must play a part in pressing for a “just peace” in Ukraine and its role in the conflict will be vital in shaping relations with the European Union, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added.

China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, had a responsibility to play a constructive role in advancing a peace based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, with the withdrawal of invading Russian forces.

“Any peace plan which would in effect consolidate Russian annexations is simply not a viable plan. We have to be frank on this point,” von der Leyen said in a speech in Brussels on the eve of a trip to Beijing.

“How China continues to interact with Putin’s war will be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward.”

The European Commission will present ideas later this year on measures that could control outbound investment to prevent certain sensitive technologies going to rivals such as China, the EU executive’s chief said on Thursday.

Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech on EU-China relations that European companies’ capital, expertise and knowledge should not be used to enhance the military and intelligence capabilities of “systemic rivals”.

Von der Leyen said the Commission would present initial ideas as part of an “Economic Security Strategy” later this year, with a possible “targeted instrument on outbound investment” that would cover a small number of sensitive technologies whose use by military elsewhere could pose risks to national security.

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