EU launches ‘Global Gateway’ to counter China’s Belt and Road

News from Brussels

Source: Politico, 2021-09-15

The European Union will launch "Global Gateway" as a scheme to compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative — the massive, geopolitically influential network of infrastructure and transport investments that Beijing uses to link its exporters to western markets.

"We want to turn Global Gateway into a trusted brand around the world," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during the annual State of the Union address on 15 September. "We will build Global Gateway partnerships with countries around the world. We want investments in quality infrastructure, connecting goods, people and services around the world."

She didn't shy away from her primary target — China, which has been criticised by the West for extending its strategic reach and creating debt dependence through its multibillion-dollar infrastructure and investment scheme. 

"We want to create links and not dependencies!" von der Leyen said.

"We are good at financing roads. But it does not make sense for Europe to build a perfect road between a Chinese-owned copper mine and a Chinese-owned harbour. We have to get smarter when it comes to these kinds of investments," she said.

A priority, she added, would be for the EU to discuss connectivity projects with Africa during a regional summit in February 2022.

Her remarks come three months after the 27 EU leaders tasked her team to come up with a name and a logo for the EU's new plan against the Belt and Road.

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