EU vows to shield itself from Chinese security threats, Michel says

European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a press conference at the end of a European summit in a video conference format, in Brussels, on August 19, 2020. - EU leaders have held an emergency video summit to discuss the crisis in Belarus, as the country's exiled opposition chief urged them to reject President Alexander Lukashenko's disputed re-election. The EU will soon impose sanctions on a "substantial number" of people behind election rigging and violent suppression of protests in Belarus, EU Council chief Charles Michel said. (Photo by Olivier HOSLET / POOL / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER HOSLET/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday that the European Union was ready to stand up to aggressive actions by China and Russia, offering support to U.S. President Joe Biden on his first European tour.

“We will defend ourselves against practices that pose security risks,” Michel told an online news conference before joining the G7 summit in Britain, saying Beijing was a systemic rival and also a partner.

“We will continue to stand up to defend human rights and the rule of law in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and elsewhere,” Michel said.

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