Politics, Europe, Asia - Pacific

EU to present new strategy to prevent sensitive technology leakage to China

EU Commission chief argues for new EU-China ties based on ‘transparency, predictability, reciprocity’

Agnes Szucs  | 18.04.2023 - Update : 18.04.2023
EU to present new strategy to prevent sensitive technology leakage to China


The European Union has prepared a new economic security strategy to avoid “leakage” of sensitive technology to China, the EU Commission chief said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Ursula von der Leyen revealed that the European Commission will soon present a new economic security strategy and develop new tools to avoid “the leakage of emerging and sensitive technologies through investments in other countries.”

She said she traveled to China last week to bring a “clear message” to Beijing and to avoid “miscommunication” about their relationship.

Von der Leyen stressed the bloc needs a new China strategy as “China has changed, Europe has changed.”

“We do not want to cut economic societal, political, and scientific ties,” with the country, she said.

But as part of the EU’s “economic de-risking” strategy, the bloc should strengthen its own resilience, von der Leyen said, citing the provision of critical materials, pharmaceutical products, and semiconductor technology as examples.

She further said the EU should become “bolder and better in using our existing trade defense instruments.”

In addition, the EU executive body is currently working on an “instrument on outbound investment for a very small number but very sensitive technologies” to protect cutting-edge technologies.

Von der Leyen also warned that the EU-China relationship must be rebalanced “on the basis of transparency, predictability, and reciprocity” so that “trade in goods and services remains mutually beneficial.”

According to von der Leyen, China must “respect the level playing field” when giving access to European companies to the Chinese market, and become more transparent about subsidies and comply with intellectual property rights.

The EU must be also aware of other security risks, “particularly in the context of China’s explicit fusion of its military and commercial sectors,” she further said.

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