U.S. President Joe Biden and his European allies have repeatedly stressed their desire to "de-risk,” not "decouple,” from the Chinese economy in recent months as a way to explain a slew of new restrictions on trade with Beijing. The problem is, for China there’s no difference.

Chinese state media, officials and academics have all publicly rejected the distinction in recent weeks, in a seemingly concerted effort to undermine the rhetorical shift. The official Xinhua News Agency said in a Friday commentary that "de-risking is just decoupling in disguise.”

"A change in words does not mean a difference in action. In essence, de-risking is hardly different from decoupling,” the agency said, adding that the U.S. has been "stepping up its siege of China.”