Beijing is concerned about the future Europe-China relationship after the surprise selection of von der Leyen to head the European Commission. She has clearly expressed a belief that China poses multiple threats to Europe and should be treated similarly to Russia. She also opposes the level of citizen surveillance and lack of freedom in China and believes the surveillance system will sooner or later collapse. China hopes that its close trade links with the EU continue to thrive, since they are its biggest trading partner.
Why does this matter? So far, Europe has questioned its trade links to China amid confliction over its anti-democratic tendencies, but maintained them nonetheless. A new EC leader with a more pessimistic view on China could tip the balance in favour of ideology over economy.
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