China Wants to Be at Center of New World Order, Top EU Official Says

BRUSSELS—China is seeking a new international order with Beijing as the dominant player, and the European Union must be more assertive in defending its security and economic interests, including possible EU-wide controls on outbound investment, the bloc’s top official said Thursday.

In a speech Thursday ahead of her trip to China alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, set to take place next week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU must continue engaging with Beijing but needs a strategy for “de-risking” its relationship and dependencies on China.

She also tied the future of Europe’s links with China to Beijing’s actions over the war in Ukraine and effectively called a halt to remaining hopes of enacting a 2020 EU-China investment agreement.