Le Belt und Road: EU Launches €300 Billion Investment Scheme to Take on Communist China

BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 15: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a news conference at the end of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. The Forum, running from May 14 to 15, is expected to lay the groundwork for Beijing-led infrastructure initiatives …
Nicolas Asfouri-Pool/Getty Images

The European Union will launch a €300 billion global infrastructure project in an apparent attempt to counter Communist China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the race for global influence.

The Global Gateway scheme, which aims at investing €300 (£255bn/$340) billion into infrastructure projects throughout the world by the year 2027, will seek to promote “democratic values and high standards, good governance and transparency, equal partnerships, green and clean, secure infrastructures and that catalyse private sector investment.”

Announcing the project, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “COVID-19 has shown how interconnected the world we live in is. As part of our global recovery, we want to redesign how we connect the world to build forward better.”

“The European model is about investing in both hard and soft infrastructure, in sustainable investments in digital, climate and energy, transport, health, education and research, as well as in an enabling environment guaranteeing a level playing field,” the EU chief continued.

The move comes amid increasing calls for increased centralisation of power in Brussels, with the incoming left-wing coalition government in Germany pushing for a federal EU superstate, dubbed the ‘United States of Europe, as well pushes from France and others for the formation of a fully-fledged EU Army.

The investment scheme has been perceived as intended to counter China’s Belt and Road global domination project, with Andrew Small, a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, telling the BBC that the Global Gateway represents “the first serious effort from the European side to put packages together and figure out financing mechanisms, so countries considering taking loans from China have an alternative option.”

An unnamed EU official told the British public broadcaster that Africa would be a central focus of the scheme. Communist China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has placed a heavy focus on Africa, with many citing Beijing’s desire to secure access to critical minerals, as well as securing rights to other natural resources not widely found in China, such as oil.

China’s BRI has been widely criticised as a means of so-called ‘debt trap diplomacy’, in which smaller and impoverished countries become beholden to Beijing after being offered massive loans from the Middle Kingdom for infrastructure projects. When, as is often the case, the country fails to pay back the loan to the communists, China seizes control of the assets in the country.

To add insult to injury, the contracts for the projects are typically granted to Chinese companies and staffed by temporary Chinese workers, meaning local workers and companies fail to benefit from the scheme.

While Africa has been a key pillar of the Belt and Road, the scheme has extended throughout the world, including on the EU’s doorstep, such as the infamous ‘Highway to Nowhere‘ in Montenegro constructed with a massive 800 million euro loan from the Export-Import Bank Of China, which the small Balkan state has little prospect of ever paying off and therefore opening the door to securing sovereignty over areas of Montenegro.

This week, the head of Britain’s foreign security service, MI6, Richard Moore warned that the rise of the communist regime has become the “single greatest priority” for the intelligence agency, highlighting the use of “debt traps” and other means to gain influence throughout the world.

“China is an authoritarian state, with different values from ours,” Moore stated.

Though the European Union shied away from joining former President Trump’s trade war with China, which became the bloc’s top trading partner last year, relations between Brussels and Beijing have soured as of late.

Last December the EU and China agreed in principle to a €120 billion investment and trade pact, however, the trade deal was ultimately shelved after the EU joined the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada in sanctioning Chinese officials for their role in the concentration camp system in Xinjiang, where up to three million Muslim Uyghurs have been incarcerated and subject to forced labour, sterilisation, organ harvesting, and torture.

In turn, China levied its own sanctions on British MPs and European Union politicians, resulting in the EU pulling out of the trade deal.

Tensions have also been increased over Lithuania opening a de-facto Taiwanese embassy in Vilnius, with CCP media threatening war with the EU member state over violating the so-called One-China policy, which demands that countries do not recognise Taiwan as being independent of Beijing, despite the fact that the island country has its own distinct government, military, currency, and culture.

Speaking to Breitbart London last month, one of the European politicians who was sanctioned by the CCP, Lithuanian MP Dovilė Šakalienė warned that “China is threatening world order and the global standards that the world has agreed to after the Second World War.”

It remains to be seen how effective the EU’s Global Gateway will be in countering China’s Belt and Road, or indeed in securing global influence, with the project to be dwarfed by President Joe Biden’s massive $40 trillion “Build Back Better World” global investment scheme.


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