EU eyes competition with China on funding projects in Global South
The European Commission President says the EU and its partners should offer nations alternatives to Chinese investment projects, which she views as "harmful".
The EU should look to deliver competitive economic projects to countries of the Global South to challenge deals offered by China, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday.
The official said the EU and its partners should take advantage of a supposed "window of opportunity" to provide plans to "many countries of the Global South" that "are looking for alternative funding options."
Von der Leyen alleged that countries across the world have had "bad experiences with China," which has made the Belt and Road Initiative of China lose its appeal, the official stated at the G7 summit in Hiroshima Japan.
"They took Chinese loans and ended up in a debt crisis," which von der Leyen says has opened up a gap that the G7 members must fill.
She added, "We want to put a better offer on the table. If we are in a race, we are in a race to the top," revealing that the EU will initiate 90 "flagship projects" across the world as part of its Global Gateway investment plan.
This comes in the context of a joint declaration issued on Saturday at the G7 meeting that cited a number of complaints leveled at Beijing, including alleged intellectual theft, economic coercion, and domestic human rights violations. According to the organization, it firmly opposes "any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force" in relation to Taiwan and the South China Sea.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to claims made in the G7 meeting saying, “China will never accept the so-called rules imposed by the few. The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values.”
Last year, Beijing refuted claims similar to the ones made by von der Leyen targeted against the Belt and Road Initiative.
"The so-called Chinese debt trap is a lie made up by the US and some other Western countries," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin.