Reconnect Policy Brief 7 Xi-curity: How economic security ideas shape China’s economic strategies

In the run-up to the December EU-China summit in Beijing, tension loomed over issues like the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation in China’s electric vehicle sector, the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), and Dutch restrictions on silicon chip technology exports. Chinese authorities are criticizing President von der Leyen’s economic de-risking policy, labelling it a dictated containment policy by the US. This criticism is peculiar when considering China’s longstanding concerns and policies to cope with foreign overreliance, now amplified under Xi Jinping. Since his Presidency, large parts of the economy have been placed in function of China’s national security. The EU belatedly recognized the strategic potential of economic assets, and currently responds to Chinese (and American) geo-economic power politics with some new initiatives. Yet, defensive, ad hoc measures to protect its increasingly limited industrial assets will not suffice.

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