Decoupling from China 'an illusion': French Economy Minister
During a visit to Beijing on Sunday, France's Finance Minister stated that breaking all economic ties with China was "an illusion."
During a visit to Beijing on Sunday, France's Finance Minister warned that breaking all economic ties with China was "an illusion," as several Western countries rethink their reliance on the Asian powerhouse.
"We are totally opposed to the idea of decoupling. Decoupling is an illusion," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters at the French embassy, adding that "There is no possibility of having any kind of decoupling between the American, European and Chinese economies."
Nonetheless, Le Maire maintained France's goal of becoming more economically autonomous in certain industries. However, he noted that the term "de-risking," which has been popular in the West in recent months, "does not imply that China is a risk."
"De-risking means that we want to be more independent... We don't want to realize, as we realized during the Covid crisis, that we have too much dependence on some very specific components," he added, citing microchips as one example.
Le Maire's words come as some Western countries want to minimize their economic reliance on China, particularly Germany, which counts China as its top trading partner and a key market for its automobile industry.
The US has also urged for de-coupling from China, however, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated earlier this month during a visit to Beijing that a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies would be "virtually impossible."
Meanwhile, China has slammed Western efforts to de-risk, with Premier Li Qiang labeling the approach a "false proposition" last month. Le Maire is currently in China for high-level economic talks and will visit the southern tech capital of Shenzhen on Monday to meet with business executives.
West's economic de-risking a 'false proposition': Chinese PM
Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang considered on July 27 that the Western countries' decision to "de-risk" their economies was a "false proposition", slamming the United States and European Union policy aimed at reducing their reliance on China.
"In the West, some people are hyping up what is called 'cutting reliance and de-risking'," Li told delegates from New Zealand, Mongolia, Vietnam, Barbados, and Saudi Arabia at the opening of a World Economic Forum meeting in northern China. "These two concepts... are a false proposition, because the development of economic globalization is such that the world economy has become a common entity in which you and I are both intermingled," the Chinese Premier pointed out in a speech calling for deepening economic globalization and cooperation.
"The economies of many countries are blended with each other, rely on each other, make accomplishments because of one another, and develop together," he indicated.
"This is actually a good thing, not a bad thing."