The EU-China summit in Brussels has just finished. In a joint statement, China has committed to work with Europe to strengthen the global order and international trade rules. The country also promised to tackle unfair subsidies and forced technology transfers. A small step in the right direction, according to Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE). She wants the EU member states to work together to compete with China.
Schaake: 'It's a success for European diplomacy that China has made concrete concessions today. But actions speak louder than words. In Davos, the Chinese President in 2017 proclaimed himself to be a champion of globalisation and international cooperation. Yet in the meantime, China has continued its unfair trading practices and the aggressive takeovers of European companies in strategic sectors. At the same time, millions of Uyghurs remain detained in appalling conditions in Chinese camps. China has a lot of work to do when it comes to building credibility.'
Marietje Schaake welcomes the work undertaken by the European Commission to develop a European China strategy. Yet she cautions that strategy is only as strong as its weakest link.
Schaake: 'Less than a week after the Commission presented its China strategy, Luxembourg announced, following the Italian government, that it would join China's 'One Belt One Road' initiative. Through investments and exploitative contracts, China is trying to gain economic dominance from Kenia to Luxembourg and from Malaysia to Armenia. Countries also meet in the 16+1 context. It is essential that European countries remain united in the face of China's strategy to do the opposite. If we want to compete, we should always speak with one voice.'