The European Union must unite around a stronger stance toward China as it tries to cope with Beijing’s rising power, several of the bloc’s foreign ministers said.

"Unfortunately aspects of competition and rivalry have increased in relation to China,” Germany’s Annalena Baerbock told reporters ahead of a gathering of her EU counterparts in Stockholm. "The strategy of de-risking will therefore become the guideline of EU politics.”

Sweden’s Tobias Billstrom, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said the bloc should discuss how to "focus its strength and create more unity” in dealings with China, while deepening transatlantic links.