EU Is Worried About China’s Growing Presence In Its Region

European Union is concerned about increasing presence of China in the region and is taking steps to curb its growing influence. Though Chinese president Xi Jinping is visiting Italy and France next week there is a slow but persistent firestorm within EU is brewing about dangers of Chinese investments particularly with regard to telecom technology and measures are being considered to deal with them. The European Commission has recently released a report called EU-China:Strategic Outlook after several months of study that brands China as an economic competitor that is pursuing an aggressive path of technological leadership.

Though till date Europe has had a benign approach to China’s push into its economy the document in clear and tough tones said that it is a systemic rival that is promoting alternative models of governance. This document marks a major shift in EU’s thinking process just ahead of EU’s council meeting scheduled for next week in Brussels in which leaders of all 28 member countries will meet together to discuss China before landing of Xi in Rome. Though the document in diplomatic language calls upon EU to strengthen its relationship with China for promotion of common interests, it also urges caution on the region’s tech and communication infrastructure.

To safeguard against potential security issues related to telecom and digital infrastructure the document highlights the importance of having a common EU approach towards security of 5G networks. To achieve this objective the Commission stated that a clear plan will have to be laid out which will be discussed during the meeting. The challenge under the circumstances is not only to find a common consensus between all members that view China through different lenses but also to formulate a unified approach. Better coordination between European nations for a common cause could help it deal with China which till date has been negotiating with members on an exclusively bilateral basis.

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