EU’s hawk eye on China’s economic aggression
DHARAMSALA, Feb 15: Concerned by China’s economic aggression, the European Parliament has decided to keep watch over China’s takeovers and investments in the strategic sectors of the region.
“The European Parliament gave the green light to new measures that will allow for more intense screening of foreign takeovers in Europe’s strategic sectors,” reports New Europe, a leading EU affairs newspaper.
It is understood that the legislation has the support of French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as the governments of Germany and Italy, all of whom want to counter a wave of takeovers by Chinese companies in the EU.
The draft legislation was adopted by a margin of 500-49, with 56 abstentions and the new law aims to protect EU sectors like water, transport, communications and technologies, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and robotics, the report noted.
“With this tool, Europe will be able to better shield itself,” the French MEP Franck Proust was quoted as saying in the report.
“Acquiring infrastructure, technologies or strategic interests is becoming a political objective,” he added.
According to the report, the EU executive has pushed for the screening of China’s takeovers and investments as they grew weary over the situation that surrounds Chinese company Huawei, which is in the process of building 5G mobile networks across the EU despite coming under intense scrutiny in recent months due to the company’s ties to China’s intelligence services.
Britain’s Defence Secretary has expressed deep concerns over Chinese tech giant Huawei’s involvement in providing the 5G network in Britain as well while it was reported as a potential risk to the national security by many countries including the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Poland.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took up the issue way back in 2017. He called for better filters for foreign takeovers in Europe’s strategic sector in his State of the European Union speech to the EU Parliament.