Over the past year, EU-China bilateral relations have deteriorated, notably related to a growing number of irritants (i.e., China’s counter-measures to EU sanctions on human rights, economic coercion and trade measures against the single market, and China’s positioning on the war in Ukraine). The balance of challenges and opportunities presented by China has shifted over time. At the same time, the EU has remained committed to engagement and cooperation given China’s crucial role in addressing global and regional challenges. In that regard, the EU’s current approach towards China set out in the “Strategic Outlook” Joint Communication of 12 March 2019 remains valid. The EU continues to deal with China simultaneously as a partner for cooperation and negotiation, an economic competitor and a systemic rival.