EU proposes new infrastructure program comparable to China

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The EU plans to step up its challenge to China through international spending on infrastructure and other projects, aiming to rival the economic and political influence that Beijing has gained through the Belt and Road Initiative. ..

Ursula von der Reyen, President of the European Commission, measurementIn her annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, she is called the “Global Gateway.” In an era of global “super-competitiveness,” she said the EU needed to be a “more active global player.”

This meant creating links around the world, not “dependencies,” she said — a reference to the G7 capital’s concerns about the impact of China’s BRI program on developing countries. ..

EU officials said the Brussels initiative would go beyond BRI’s flagship infrastructure projects to provide “transparent, value-based” project finance to low-income countries.

Von der Leyen also proposed a ban on products manufactured using forced labor amid concerns about abuse in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. She also vowed to improve EU coordination on security.

The European Commission’s speech is based on efforts to strengthen the EU’s ability to gain weight on the global stage, called “strategic autonomy,” including relations with China. The US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan raised concerns about dependence on Afghanistan within the EU.

The Global Gateway Program follows the decision to embark on a Global Infrastructure Initiative at the G7 Summit in the United Kingdom in June. Explained “Highly transparent and value-based” by the Biden administration.

The Brussels move follows a backlash against China’s project as some recipients complain that BRI debt terms are awkward and construction and environmental standards are inadequate. Germany’s EU ambassador, Michael Klaus, praised the initiative as “it is important to shape globalization in a European way.”

Von der Leyen did not disguise his focus on China. “We are good at financing roads, but it doesn’t make sense for Europe to build a perfect road between a Chinese-owned copper mine and a Chinese-owned port,” she said in Strasbourg. “We will work together to deepen trade relations, strengthen our global supply chain and develop new investment projects in green and digital technologies.”

She added that the European Commission will also propose a ban on the sale of products by forced labor in the EU single market. “There are 25 million people threatened or forced into forced labor. They are forced to make products, and these products will be sold in stores here in Europe. We can never accept it. “

Movement comes as a result of repetition Claim China has forced thousands of Uighurs and members of other minority groups to work in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and elsewhere.This year, the United States is working with the EU, Canada and the United Kingdom Imposing sanctions About Chinese officials in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Last year the EU EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment Together with Beijing, it called on China to provide a “roadmap” for implementing international treaties against the use of forced labor.

However, EU officials said the ban on forced labor was not as strong as the previous Commission’s commitment to introduce legislation aimed at holding companies accountable for potential human rights and environmental abuse in the supply chain. Stated. Von de Araien does not mention this proposal.

As Germany’s elections approach this month, Von der Leyen avoids bold legislative initiatives and instead creates a vast green legislative program in the EU and health authorities to equip unions to face more pandemics. Focused on previously tracked proposals, such as projects.

Von der Leyen confirmed the Commission’s plans to resume talks on EU debt and deficit rules.

Former German Defense Minister also stuck to lessons from the withdrawal Afghanistan.. “Europe can and clearly should do more on its own,” she insisted.

EU proposes new infrastructure program comparable to China

Source link EU proposes new infrastructure program comparable to China

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