Appeal to STOP the EU/China Deal on Investments :
Ratification shouldn’t happen
Why EU-CHINA Investment’s deal bring European Economy in danger !
The EU leaders, namely Vonderleyen, Macron and Merkel, have underlined what a big major success was the new EU-China global comprehensive agreement signed just before New year’s Eve
They have insured that EU companies will have their investments secured in China. Nothing is indeed less sure as nothing is definitively set up before 2022 .
French minister of Foreign Trade Riester has assured the Human Rights Advocates, namely the ones who recalled the situation of million Uyghurs in camps, that they have pressured the communist regime of Beijing to give guarantees about this issue.
But, finally, they accepted a vague declaration of the totalitarian Chinese government assuring that “China will make continue and sustainable efforts to ratify the ILO Convention against forced labor”. But when ? And we all know that ratifying is one thing (just here a question, why China didn’t ratify that ?? ) but implementing the convention is one other thing ! Who will check the implementation ?
But , I would like here to stress the attention of my dear readers of the question of Chinese Investments in the EU
Of course, the Deal will encourage them much more
We know the political dangers of having one imperialist dictatorship like China becoming the owner of our infrastructures like ports for their own use, telecom facilities via Huawei, a state company, to control and check our communications, to buy our milk-factories for the use of their consumers,…
We know the reality of bad quality of their investments with famous examples such as , in the EU:
- The runway of Modlin Airport in the suburb of Warsaw, so badly build by a Chinese company, that no plane was able to use it
- The disastrous management of Toulouse Airport runed by a Company owned by China
Examples outside the EU are worst and probably indicate what will happen to us :
- The electric plant of Bishkek, capital of Kirghizstan, who has to be shut down during a winter, letting millions of people without any heating (and lot of severe incidents reports as for examples in maternities or Elderly Houses)
- The case of corruption and briberies involving Chinese companies are very high, like in Maldives (bridge), Ghana or Malaysia. Prime Ministers and Ministers sitting in jail now..
I would like now to stress one other danger for the European companies and European jobs: Unfair competition :
China’s aggressive behavior towards public procurement and EU tenders
Recently, more and more subsidized companies (mostly Chinese State-owned companies) have been granted “large construction projects at prices which no European private company could realistically match and the current level of interest of such companies in upcoming infrastructure projects underline the need for rigorous legal action”.
To provide a few examples, the Chinese industry is heavily dependent on exports since the production is much higher than the domestic consumption. Europe’s trade with China has increased the last years and totals around €1,4 trillion. The main issue is that European companies face a plethora of restrictions on the Chinese market, where there are no restrictions for Chinese companies on the European market.
Meanwhile, China has also increased its exports to third markets, as in Africa or Middle East, and as a result it influences politically these countries. Especially in Africa, China has “committed an average of 50% of its total infrastructure”. Consequently, the abovementioned Chinese practices in Africa are jeopardizing competition rules, especially if we take under consideration that China operates outside of multilateral rules and practices. In other words, China only adopts international rules, if they benefit and empower its domestic economy. By not being part of international norms and rules, not only fair competition is negatively affected, but also the environment, the local workforce and the ethical governance.
According to experts: “As long as China does not follow the same official financing rules and practices as its OECD counterparts, EU institutions and Member States should not allow Chinese companies to participate in infrastructure tenders financed from EU ODA, especially if such companies are state-owned.”
However, the opposite has been achieved. Since 2011, EU companies invest two times more in China (for example in 2014 China’s FDI to the EU amounted 18 billion, whereas the EU’s FDI to China amounted to USD 8 billion). Moreover, Chinese investment targets have diversified beyond an early focus on technology, infrastructure and heavy industry to multiple different sectors as the energy or the real estate sector.
To continue, Chinese investments in southern and eastern Europe are mostly focused on utilities and energy. For instance, the SOE China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) owns a 51% stake of Piraeus Port Authority in Greece and has also expanded to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge and thus further increased presence in the North Sea. Hence, such procurements of EU port infrastructures benefit the country and provide access to strategic logistics platforms enabling further opportunities to expand business interests and, inevitably, political influence.
In addition, in 2014, Hungary and Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China in Belgrade on the railway connecting Belgrade and Budapest. Hungary applied Directive 2014/25/EU and organised a tender process. However, this tender procedure might have infringed Directive 2014/25/EU as well as fundamental principles of the TFEU, such as equal treatment, transparency and fair competition.
To conclude, the unbalances in the Sino-European economic partnership are expected to continue. This is particularly evident through the Chinese policy documents, such as “Made in China 2025”. This strategy aims to weaken foreign technology in Chinese manufacturing and suggests an increasingly competitive China which may soon drive Europe, the US and Japan out of their global leadership positions in technology. China’s economic policies and ambitions are marked by (economic) nationalism, a focus on industrial power and a new push for exports, which is embodied by the country’s recent “One Belt, One Road” Strategy.
To conclude, for the sole benefit of some European big companies (mainly the German ones who push heavily for that deal, supported by Merkel and VonderLeyen ) the EU will :
- Put in serious danger our sovereignty
- Facilitate the access of Chinese state ‘owned companies to our territories
- Create unfair competition for our European SMEs
- Bad effect on quality of our infrastructures
In the meantime, the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Kazakhs, Mongols, Chinese dissidents and HongKong Citizens will continue to suffer
It’s High time to block that deal !
It’s possible ! let’s not ratify it in the European and national parliaments
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European International Contractors. “The Case for an EU-Africa Partnership for Sustainable Infrastructure,” October 2019.
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