Two main “bottlenecks” have been identified by the EU as posing a threat to the Commission’s aspirations to compete with China’s clout.
COMMISSIONERS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION have been warned against becoming overly reliant on China’s supply chains as part of a plan by the European Commission to counter Beijing’s clout.
Foreign ministers from the European Union have come together to agree on an infrastructure investment project to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Since 2013, Beijing has been slowly increasing its clout through a series of smart investments in global transportation hubs and ports. To offset China’s growing importance in European supply chains, European leaders have unveiled their own strategy, dubbed “Globally Connected Europe.”
Josep Borrell, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Commissioner, emphasized the bloc’s desire to improve connectivity between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
He explained, “It has a bigger objective of putting connection at the center of our exterior policy.”
“With our deal with Japan, we started doing this two years ago.
“However, it appears that today it is far more necessary for us to focus on the connectivity issues in the broader Middle East, as well as looking ahead to Central Asia and China, but not with the same methodology and goals as China’s Belt and Road initiative.”
However, a researcher at the Bruegel think-tank has emphasized the importance of diversifying trade flows in order for Europe to avoid becoming unduly reliant on China.
“Importing, for example, 90% of a crucial commodity through a Chinese port and then suddenly trying to argue against China for whatever reason,” Alicia Garca-Herrero told Euronews.
“Then you have your imports and your ports as possible bottlenecks.”
It comes as G7 leaders signed up to the “Build Back Better World” project, which aims to challenge Beijing’s influence.
Last week, Italian MEP Marco Zanni chastised the French and German leaders for failing to protest the removal of dozens of LGBT+ profiles from China’s WeChat social media platform.
“Merkel and Macron, they prefer to meet at the table with the Chinese president to see how to secure the China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), which they firmly want in December,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Zanni made the remarks in response to a comment from another user who said, “We’ll take to the streets for this as well, right?”
A summit with Macron, Merkel, and Xi Jinping was held earlier this week to explore EU-China relations.
The German Chancellor’s “Brinkwire Summary News” stated, “They also addressed international commerce, climate protection, and biodiversity.”