The United States and the European Union pledged to join forces to fight China’s non-trade economic practices and misinformation, particularly about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The two partners looked to their Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Sweden to explore common interests, such as artificial intelligence and future trade in sustainable products, but China proved to be a broad topic.
They highlighted China’s policies in the medical device sector and their adverse effects on European and US workers, saying they were “exploring possible concerted action”.
The EU and US are deeply concerned about foreign intelligence manipulation, interception and disinformation, the statement said.
The council said Russia’s reports of an invasion of Ukraine and China’s “proliferation of Russian disinformation narratives” were clear examples of the dangers.
Brussels says it views China as a partner, an economic competitor and a strategic rival in some sectors. Recognizing the need for coordination with a more aggressive US, the EU plans to restructure its policy towards the country.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted that the group’s and U.S. views on China are increasingly aligned, and that neither expects a confrontation.
Both sides said they are considering measures to strengthen civil society and fact-checking systems in peripheral countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America, where they say the negative impact of disinformation can be seen.
They also said they were committed to working with the G7 to coordinate measures to counter economic coercion measures, including trade restrictions imposed by China on EU member Lithuania.
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