November 11, 2019, President of the Republic of China of Xi Jinping (L) and Greek Kyriakos Mitsutakisu prime minister (R) is, we shook hands when you visit a Chinese company Cosco cargo terminal in the Greek port of Piraeus.
ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU | AFP | Getty Images
London-Greece has no plans to end its economic ties with China just because other countries are revisiting its ties with China, Greece’s Permanent Representative NATO told CNBC on Monday.
Relations between China and European countries have deteriorated since March, when the diplomatic conflict between the two countries occurred.At that time, the EU decided to impose sanctions on China “Large-scale arbitrary detention” Of Uighurs, an ethnic minority. Beijing, which denies violating the human rights of Uighurs, has retaliated by announcing sanctions against European Parliamentarians. resulting in, EU It has withheld ratification of the investment agreement with Beijing announced in December.
Over the weekend, the G7 group in developed countries called on China to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.” According to the BBC, this is opposed by Chinese authorities, and the embassy of the country in London said on Monday that the era when groups of “small” countries decided the future path of the world was over.
“We strategically choose the best potential of our country. This is also always within the obligations of the EU and the major organizations that are NATO. So far, in very specific projects. Participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. It’s a very specific term and we don’t consider it a strategic relationship with other partners, but abandon it just because they do. I’m not going to do it. “
The Belt and Road Infrastructure Plan is designed to build a vast global network of land, sea and digital connections between China and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Critics say the unprecedented plan will support Chinese companies, increase Beijing’s international influence and impose high debt burdens on developing countries.
Greece deepened its economic ties with Beijing following the financial crisis after the Mediterranean countries received three bailout programs, one of which was not completed. Thus, investment from China was an important source of income for debtor countries.
This is the case at Piraeus Harbor, where the Chinese shipping company Cosco acquired a majority stake in 2016. The port is strategically located between the Asian and European continents. However, China has made various major investments in Greece, including energy and real estate.
“If we analyze that relationship poses a threat, we’ll rethink it, but at this point we’re only getting the benefits of a healthy and very legitimate commercial relationship,” Lambridis added. I did.
His comments contrast with those of other European countries. Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at a press conference beside the G7 meeting that he would “carefully” evaluate his participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Italy became the first G7 economy to sign a memorandum of understanding with Beijing in 2019 to participate in the project.But the United States and other EU countries Some concerns About it at that time.
Over the weekend, G7 countries agreed to develop their own competing version of the Belt and Road Initiative by providing infrastructure investment to the poor.
However, despite this backlash, Matthew Goodman, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, DC-based think tank, continues to pursue China’s own large-scale infrastructure program at CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia. He said.
–CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.
Greece has not abandoned China, even though others have abandoned it, the ambassador says
Source link Greece has not abandoned China, even though others have abandoned it, the ambassador says