"EU-China relations have become more challenging recently. On the one hand, European companies are still confronted with significant asymmetries in our trade and investment relations. On the other hand, China's continuous zero-COVID policy and its ambiguous stance towards Russia's invasion of Ukraine have created additional risk factors for our businesses”, said Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General, at the official launch event of the new BusinessEurope paper "EU-China relations: Engaging with a systemic rival". Mr Beyrer’s address was followed by a panel discussion between María Martín-Prat, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission Directorate General for Trade, Reinhard Bütikofer, Chair of the China delegation of the European Parliament, and Wolfgang Niedermark, Member of the Executive Board of BDI and Chair of the BusinessEurope's China Network. Luisa Santos, BusinessEurope Deputy Director General, moderated the discussions. Beyrer highlighted that while European companies will need to thoroughly assess the short and long-term risks deriving from any overreliance and exposure to China, the country will remain an important market for European businesses and a key actor for addressing global challenges. “Therefore, the EU should keep engaging with China in areas of interest, with the aim of creating conditions for a constructive and balanced cooperation. Areas of particular relevance in this regard are climate policy and standardisation”, he added.