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Germany's Scholz-'No Decoupling But Smart De-Risking'


(MNI) London-Stuart Lau at Politico on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Europe Day address to the European Parliament: "...Scholz summed up the EU's changing attitude to China: "Our relationship with China is aptly described by the 'partner, competitor, systemic rival' trio - although rivalry and competition on China's part have undoubtedly increased."Scholz: "The EU sees this and reacts to it. I agree with Ursula von der Leyen: no de-coupling, but smart de-risking is the motto!" Scholz: "Those who constantly warn of Europe's decline are not winning the future."

A subtle reference to Beijing's "the west is in decline" narrative?."

  • Scholz also calls for an 'enlarged and reformed' European Union, arguing that it should be 'more geopolitical' in its outlook and actions.
  • The talk of 'de-risking' has become much more prominent from EU and US officials in recent weeks with both Brussels and Washington seemingly seeking to lower tensions with Beijing. 'Decoupling' had been viewed as an effort by the West to fully and formally separate the world into two economic systems, one tied into the West and the other to China.
  • De-risking on the other hand is viewed as an effort by Western nations to ensure supply chains of industries critical to national security are either based onshore or in friendly nations (known as 'friendshoring').

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