September 30, 2018 | Lodhi’s Speech at UN
September 29, 2018 | China rebuts US allegations
| Russian missiles challenge
September 28, 2018 | Iran defies America
| Britain and the EU
27 out of 28 EU countries view China’s New Silk roads as “unfair competition”.
The fears of these 27 countries were not calmed when China’s Foreign Ministry said that its New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was about “pursuing domestic political goals like the reduction of surplus capacity, creation of new export markets and safeguarding access to raw materials”.
But not all of Europe was concerned. Central and Eastern Europe see the BRI as a boon to needed infrastructure projects. So too do Greece and Italy, while ports such as Hamburg and Rotterdam know they’ve been marked down as BRI terminals. Spain too is positive, seeing the high-speed Yiwu to Madrid cargo train as economic advance.
It all boils down to companies from specific EU nations deciding on the required degree of integration, with Raymond Yeung, ANZ’s chief economist for China, calling it “the biggest economic experiment in modern history.”
France has emerged low-key on the BRI of more recent time, but President Emmanuel Marcon had actually praised the initiative when he visited China earlier in the year.
“After all, the ancient Silk Roads were never only Chinese,” Macron said in Xian at the Daming Palace. “These roads cannot be those of a new hegemony, which would transform those that they cross into vassals.”
However, Macron showed great keenness on the EU toughening anti-dumping rules and wider screening of attempted takeovers by the Chinese in “strategic sectors”.
Berlin is worried too, as the “Made in China” label threatens high-end German companies. As Bauer CEO Thomas Bauer said it “will not be a contest against copiers. It will be one against innovative engineers.”
The reality is that most EU nations want more access to the huge Chinese market; they want to remain competitive; but they don’t quite know how to do it, caught as they are between Trump’s “America First” on the one hand and the now fully awakened “Sleeping Giant” on the other.