The EU proposes a new infrastructure plan to counter China

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EU update

The European Union plans to increase its challenge to China through international spending on infrastructure and other projects, seeking to counteract the economic and political influence that Beijing has won through the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Ursula von der Lein, President of the European Commission, proposed​​ measure, Dubbed the “Global Gateway”, in the annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday. She said that in the era of global “super competitiveness”, the EU needs to become a “more active global player.”

She said that this means establishing connections around the world, rather than “depending on”-this means that the G7 capitals are worried about the impact of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative on developing countries.

A senior EU official stated that the Brussels initiative will provide low-income countries with “transparent and value-based” project financing, going beyond infrastructure projects that are the backbone of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Fearing about infringements in China’s Xinjiang region, Von Delane also proposed to prohibit the use of products manufactured by forced labor. She also vowed to improve EU coordination on security.

The President of the European Commission’s speech is based on efforts to improve the EU’s ability to exert influence on the global stage-known as “strategic autonomy”-including in its relations with China. The U.S.-led withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has aggravated concerns within the EU about its dependence on Washington.

The Global Gateway Plan is after the decision to launch the Global Infrastructure Plan at the G7 Summit in the UK in June, describe It is called “value-driven, high standards and transparency” by the Biden administration.

As some recipient countries complained about the heavy debt clauses of the “Belt and Road” initiative and insufficient construction and environmental standards, Brussels’ move aroused strong opposition to the Chinese project. The German ambassador to the European Union, Michael Klaus, praised the initiative, saying it “is very important to shape globalization in a European way.”

Von Delane did not hide her concern for China. “We are good at financing roads. But there is no point in building a perfect road between European copper mines owned by China and ports owned by China,” she said in Strasbourg. “We will work together to deepen trade ties, strengthen global supply chains, and develop new green and digital technology investment projects.”

She added that the committee will also propose a ban on the sale of products produced by forced labor in the EU single market, she said: “There are 25 million people threatened or forced to engage in forced labor. We can never accept that they are forced to produce products-then These products will eventually be sold in stores in Europe.”

This move is after repeated Claim China is forcing tens of thousands of Uighurs and members of other ethnic minorities to work in Xinjiang and other places. This year, the United States has cooperated with the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom, Impose sanctions Chinese officials on Xinjiang.Last year, the European Union signed a China-Europe Comprehensive Investment Agreement Together with Beijing, China is required to provide a “road map” for the implementation of international conventions against the use of forced labor.

However, EU officials pointed out that the ban on forced labor is not as strong as the earlier commission promised to introduce legislation aimed at holding companies accountable for potential human rights and environmental violations in their supply chains. Von Delane did not mention this proposal.

With the German election approaching this month, Von der Lein evaded bold legislative moves and instead focused on previously lagging proposals, including the EU’s huge green legislative program and a coalition for the establishment of health authorities to equip them to respond to changes. Multi-epidemic project.

Von der Lein confirmed that the European Commission plans to restart negotiations on EU debt and deficit rules-a topic that has received much attention in Germany-but did not hint at a possible conclusion.

The former German defense minister also talked about the lessons of exiting the European Union. Afghanistan“Europe can-and obviously should-be able and willing to do more on its own,” she believes in defense.

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