The European Union has no intention to decouple from China but needs to protect itself when its openness is abused, the bloc's executive vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, said, as both sides look to cool rising tensions over geopolitics and trade.

Relations have become tense due to Beijing's ties with Moscow after Russian forces swept into Ukraine, and the EU's push to rely less on the world's second-largest economy.

The bloc posted record bilateral trade with China last year, but it is "very unbalanced," Dombrovskis said Saturday in a speech at the annual Bund Summit conference in Shanghai, citing a trade deficit of almost €400 billion ($426.08 billion).