The European Union wants to create its own "Silk Road" without China and Russia

The European Union wants to create its own "Silk Road" without China and Russia

The European Union wants to create its own "Silk Road" without China and Russia

15 November, 19:07
As it turns out, the EU is quietly working to create its own global Silk Road without China and Russia. Moreover, despite the fuel crisis in Europe, Brussels intends to allocate 40 billion euros for the creation of highways, railways and information channels.

Gennady Charodeev

The "leak" from the official structures of the EU was given by the German business publication Handelsblatt. According to its observers, this initiative is an alternative to the Chinese "Silk Road". What happened?

A number of European experts note that at one time Beijing filled the voids left by Western countries and created its own zone of influence, which stretches from Vladivostok to Europe itself. China is expanding its presence even in Germany. For example, in September of this year, the Chinese transport company Cosco bought an unloading terminal in Hamburg for 100 million euros. This naturally caused concern in official Berlin.

The report of the German Foreign Ministry emphasized that the PRC is using the Silk Road project to increase its global political influence, as well as to change global norms and standards in its own way.

“Complaints will not help here. Instead, we must offer an alternative", - said last summer, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

According to him, many countries in Europe, Africa and Latin America have seen from their own experience that Beijing's actions serve their own interests, so they are looking for alternatives.

“We must use this dynamic to offer many countries this alternative. To do this, we must have specific proposals and projects. Here the European Union should work closely with the United States”, - Maas said.

According to Handelsblatt, the European Commission intends to increase the EU's foreign policy weight through a special program to support important infrastructure projects.

Financial investments in the new project will become the central part of the new strategy "Global Gateway", which the European Commission will present to the EU member states in the coming days. At the same time, the publication notes that in the tentative plan of the European Commission there is not a single specific project, geopolitical priorities are not precisely formulated, and nothing is said about a systemic confrontation with China. At the same time, it is obvious that this initiative is directed against the PRC and, possibly, Russia.

Today, European companies fear unfair competition from government-backed Chinese businesses. In this regard, the German Industry Association has long been supporting the creation of a European global infrastructure project.

Where will the EU get money for new global projects? Brussels expects to attract private capital. They say that there is a possibility of financing from the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027. And then, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development promised to throw some money.

Sergey Zhavoronkov, senior researcher at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, told Novye Izvestia:

“The Europeans feel that the Chinese can push them aside to secondary roles in the world economy and cannot allow this to happen. But I don't really believe in the creation of the "Silk Road" in a European way. China remains the world's second economy; it has extensive trade and economic ties with Brussels. How Europe and the entire developing world can do without cheap Chinese goods is unclear. All this, in my opinion, is someone's fantasies. The European bureaucracy is working very slowly, and in the near future they will not be able to implement their plans to create a global "Silk Road". Of course, you can set yourself the task of minimizing the share of China and Russia in international trade, but you will not be able to do anything impudently. In general, it is doubtful that the governments of France, Germany, Italy or Austria today are generally interested in such "Napoleonic" initiatives of Brussels. Here we still need to figure it out.

Yuri Tavrovsky , Chairman of the Expert Council of the Russian-Chinese Committee for Friendship, Peace and Cooperation, in an interview with Novye Izvestia, recalled that when in 2013 Xi Jinping put forward two of his ideas on the creation of a continental and maritime "Silk Road", Europe and the United States already then they came out with their alternative plans. But as always, everything failed - no money was raised. There are many plans, but who will pay?

- Today the situation, I think, has not changed. Accountants in the EU will now assess the possible costs of implementing their global project and are likely to change their minds. And the Chinese have money. Despite the economic slowdown, Beijing considers its "New Silk Road" a priority project and invests, in particular, huge investments in the construction of transport corridors, the expert noted.

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