Skip to main content

Silk Road Headlines: Clingendael Institute

29 November 2018

Source: Louis Vest/flickr

On November 20, 2018, the European Parliament, Council and Commission reached an agreement on an EU framework for screening foreign direct investment. The new framework is expected to become active in early 2019 and will include a mechanism that allows the European Commission and EU member states ‘to exchange information and raise specific concerns’. In a press release, the Commission stated that it ‘is completing a detailed analysis of the foreign direct investment flows into the EU and has set up a coordination group with Member States to help identify joint strategic concerns and solutions in the area of foreign direct investment’. It is widely assumed that concerns relating to Chinese investments in particular are a major motive for the EU’s initiative [With eyes on China, EU agrees investment screening rules].

How will the new framework affect China’s Belt & Road Initiative? On the one hand, the screening framework signals to relevant actors in China and Europe that the political risks of Chinese investments in European infrastructure are increasing. In general, any investment that could potentially be regarded as having an impact on ‘security and public order’ may generate negative attention and could therefore become less attractive to investors. On the other hand, the screening framework does not pose a substantial formal obstacle to any kind of foreign direct investment. It is still up to the individual member states to deal with incoming investments. Moreover, the geopolitical relevance for Europe of BRI results from a variety of Chinese activities both within and outside the EU, not just from acquisitions of EU companies.

A long article in the New York Times on China as a new global power presents an image of China as an emerging geopolitical actor, in particular outside Europe. [Money and Muscle Pave China’s Way to Global Power]. It suggests that BRI is a major tool for China to acquire influence, for instance in strategically important maritime passageways. ‘These zones have historically been policed by American naval power, which has made China’s access dependent on peaceful relations with the United States. To liberate itself, China has been lavishing investment on governments that control the choke points’. The large-scale use of financial resources to gain influence in non-Western countries as part of a geopolitical struggle among great powers is reminiscent of the era of imperialism prior to the First World War. The New York Times article – which largely ignores the development potential of BRI - suggests that intensifying geopolitical competition carries the risk of new instances of politically-motivated interference in developing countries. By China but most likely also by its main rivals including the US.

Frans-Paul van der Putten

This week's Silk Road Headlines

China's Long March 2.0 – The Belt and Road Initiative as development model[Asienhaus]

How the Belt and Road Initiative could reduce trade costs [Vox Europe]

Maldives says China is building projects at inflated prices [Reuters]

Securing China’s Belt and Road Initiative [USIP]

Money and Muscle Pave China’s Way to Global Power [New York Times]

Algeria, China to construct 6-bln-USD phosphate project [Xinhua]

The Future of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Context of the Rise of China[CSIS]

With eyes on China, EU agrees investment screening rules [Reuters]

World Bank Offers Timely, Dubious Praise for Belt and Road [Jamestown]

Papua New Guinea rejects US criticisms of Chinese 'Belt and Road' [Sydney Morning Herald]

To increase awareness of and facilitate the debate on China's Belt and Road Initiative, the Clingendael Institute publishes Silk Road Headlines, a weekly update on relevant news articles from open sources.


Popular posts from this blog

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Balochistan to establish first medical university

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

Germany’s Siemens sets up Belt and Road office in Beijing
Germany’s Siemens sets up Belt and Road office in Beijingby Janne Suokas Mar 23, 2018 15:20 TRADEINVESTMENTBELT AND ROAD INITIATIVEGerman industrial and engineering group Siemens will set up a Belt and Road office in Beijing. surberFlickrCC BY 2.0
German industrial and engineering group Siemens will set up an office in Beijing to boost international cooperation under China’s Belt and Road initiative, the company said on Friday.The move will help strengthen Siemens’ cooperation with Chinese and international companies and expand business opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road initiative, according to the company’s statement.The Belt and Road initiative is China’s ambitious project to boost trade and infrastructure investment in more than 65 countries along the ancient Silk Road trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.Siemens said it had already partnered with hundreds of Chinese companies in overse…