Is the US trying to influence Europe to sabotage China’s BRI?

China's revival of The Silk Road as BRI has sparked US jealousy
(VIDEO: Is China trying to influence the world?)

Is the US trying to influence Europe to sabotage China’s BRI?

KUALA LUMPUR (January 2018): As expected, the pro-US international media continues to demonise China’s global efforts to promote trans-border business and economic activities.

There have been scores reports that attempt to derail China’s multi-billion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI) that was orginally introduced as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

The “bankrupt” US see the BRI as a threat to their global interest and influence and are, therefore bent on sabotaging China’s efforts to invest and construct infrastructure worth billions to link to Europe, Asia and even the Scandinavian countries.

Barely a week after I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road posted on Jan 2 an article titled “Expand BRI business opportunities to Europe!”, the pro-US AFP published on Jan 7 a report that read “Europe casts a wary eye on China’s Silk Road plans”.

Read this for context:

I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road opines that the US are too late to sabotage BRI which is developing full steam ahead with the participation of 68 countries to date.

China’s investments to construct roads and rail links to Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East are estimated to account for some 65% of the world’s population and 30% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The only reason why the US and its staunch supporters and allies are bent on demonising and sabotaging China is jealousy and the fear of losing status and global influence.

If you believe the war-waging US propaganda that constructing roads, rail, ports and airports to help boost economic activities is an act of colonisation or war, then stay away from doing business with China and the 68 participating BRI countries.

It’s only your loss - US and its allies - because the BRI business potential and marketplace are too enormous to ignore, not forgetting the China-Russia combo.

This was what AFP reported to raise doubts about China’s BRI intentions and watch the above video link for more views:

"Europe casts a wary eye on China’s Silk Road plans

Updated one hour ago · Published on 7 Jan 2018 10:40PM

DEPENDING on who you ask in Europe, China's colossal East-West infrastructure programme is either an opportunity or a threat – and when French President Emmanuel Macron visits next week, Beijing will be watching to see how keen he is to jump on board.

Since China launched the New Silk Road plan in 2013, the hugely ambitious initiative to connect Asia and Europe by road, rail and sea has elicited both enormous interest and considerable anxiety.

"It's the most important issue in international relations for the years to come, and will be the most important point during Emmanuel Macron's visit," said Barthelemy Courmont, a China expert at French think-tank Iris.

The US$1 trillion (RM3.9 trillion) project is billed as a modern revival of the ancient Silk Road that once carried fabric, spices and a wealth of other goods in both directions.

Known in China as "One Belt One Road", the plans would see gleaming new road and rail networks built through Central Asia and beyond, and new maritime routes stretching through the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.

Beijing would develop roads, ports and rail lines through 65 countries representing an estimate 60 percent of the world's population and a third of its economic output.

Macron, who heads to China for a three-day state visit on Sunday, will notably be accompanied by some 50 company chiefs keen to do business with the Asian powerhouse.

So far, France has been cautious on the Silk Road plan, but Courmont said Chinese leaders were "waiting for a clear position" from Macron at a time when they view the young leader as an "engine" for growth in Europe.

"If Macron takes a decision on how to tackle the Chinese initiative, all of Europe will follow," Courmont predicted.

But, as Courmont acknowledges, Europe is divided on what to make of China's ambitions.

The continent could potentially benefit handsomely from increased trade over the coming decades, but in some corners there is suspicion that it masks an attempted Beijing influence grab.

"They are notably asking themselves about the geopolitical consequences of this project in the long term," Alice Ekman, who covers China at the French Institute of International Relations, said of France and Germany.


In Central and Eastern Europe, the programme has been met with altogether more enthusiasm, given the huge infrastructure investment that China could bring to the poorer end of the continent.

"Some consider the awakening of China and Asia as a threat," Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a summit in Budapest in November, which gathered China with 16 Central and Eastern European countries.

"For us, it's a huge opportunity," he said, with Beijing using the summit to announce €3 billion of investment in projects including a Belgrade-Budapest railway line.

Bogdan Goralczyk, director of the Centre for Europe at the University of Warsaw, noted there were divisions even within eastern Europe, with Poland hesitant due to its right-wing government's "strong anti-communist stance".

Others to the west have made little effort to hide their concern.

Former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen fretted in a column for Germany's Zeit newspaper that "Europe will wake up only when it's too late, and when swathes of central and eastern Europe's infrastructure are dependent on China".

The former Nato chief noted that Greece – a major recipient of Chinese largesse – had in June blocked an EU declaration condemning Chinese rights abuses.

It came just months after Athens' Piraeus port, one of the biggest in the world, passed under Chinese control.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, is favourable to Chinese investment, but has reservations.

"If we do not develop a strategy in the face of China, it will succeed in dividing Europe," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned in August.

France is meanwhile seeking to "rebalance" relations with China during Macron's trip, according to his office – eyeing a trade deficit of €30 billion, its biggest with any partner.

"Our Chinese partners would prefer a win-win situation. Why not? On the condition that it's not the same party that wins twice," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday.

"It is not France's intention to block China," he said.

"But we should establish a partnership based on reciprocity when it comes to the opening of markets." – AFP, January 7, 2018.

China's new "Silk Road" cannot be one-way, France's Macron says

Monday, 8 Jan 2018
3:00 PM MYT

XIAN, China (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday China and Europe should work together on Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative, a project aiming to build a modern-day "Silk Road" he said could not be "one-way".

"The ancient Silk Roads were never only Chinese," Macron told an audience of academics, students and businessmen in Xian, an eastern departure point of the ancient Silk Road.

"By definition, these roads can only be shared. If they are roads, they cannot be one-way," he said.

Unveiled in 2013, the Belt and Road project is aimed at connecting China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Paul Tait) - The Star Online
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