EU calls to stop agreement between Italy and China

European Union and Italian flags are seen in downtown Rome, Italy, October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Italy’s participation in the “Silk Road” infrastructure project sparked outrage in Germany on Sunday and led to the European Union’s call for a veto to prevent such agreements.

“The expansion of transport routes between Europe and Asia in itself is good, as long as it does not jeopardize the independence and sovereignty of Europe,” EU budget commissioner Günter Oettinger told Finch.

But he said he was concerned that “in Italy and in a number of other European countries, important infrastructure, such as power grids, highways and European ports, is no longer in the hands of the Chinese.”

“Europe urgently needs a strategy on China,” he said.

Referring to the fact that a number of EU countries do not take sufficiently into account national and European interests, Oettinger said that “the use of the European veto or the requirement of European approval – exercised by the Commission” should be considered.

The commissioner’s invitation came after German Foreign Minister Haiku Mas criticized Rome for its agreement with Beijing.

“In a world where giants such as China and Russia or our partners are in the United States, we can only continue if we are united within the European Union,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“If some countries think they can do things intelligently with China, you will be surprised when you wake up and find yourself relying on them.”

“China is not a liberal democracy,” he said.

Europe finds it difficult to come up with a coordinated strategy to deal with China. While the continent desperately needs to keep China on its side as a trade ally, it fears the aspirations of the Chinese state and its growing global influence.

On Saturday, Italy became the first G-7 to take part in the new “Silk Road” project for land, sea and rail transport and trade links from Asia to Europe.

Critics in the United States and a number of European capitals say the project will give China much influence.

After his visit to Italy, Chinese President Xi Jinping in Monaco stopped the French Riviera on Sunday and met with French President Emmanuel Macron.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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