China’s new competitor
The EU has been planning on combating China’s “Belt and Road” project with their own. Concerns about China’s influence through the belt and road initiative have pushed the EU to develop a plan to develop a trade route that expands through the continent of Europe and Asia, which will combat Chinese money and influence. The EU will also be targeting Latin American and Africa as well expanding out of Eurasia. This is just the beginning of the process as the EU still has to come up with a catchy name and logo. Currently, the draft document of the EU’s plan is in the works and right now has no strength in encouraging businesses to invest in strategic but risky locations. The cost of the project is unknown currently but the EU plans to fund the project through both public financing and private investments.
Concern’s about China’s influence
The EU has been concerned about China’s practices. Luring smaller countries into taking a deal and putting them into a debt trap. Taking control of major infrastructures such as ports and roads. The smaller country will take China’s belt and road infrastructure investment but at a cost of paying back an exorbitant amount of money. Putting them into debt, and giving China control of major infrastructure and pressure of Chinese influence throughout the whole country.
China has set up a debt trap, but China denies these claims saying that the project is creating opportunities for every country involved to grow. The EU however is not convinced of China’s promise of opportunities. In addition, the belt and road can be seen as China’s influence and control. Relying too much on the belt and road project down the road can be dangerous as it relies on China itself.