China has made a huge impact in the world, especially in Asia, through its Belt and Road Initiative.
The EU’s investment plan, dubbed the “Global Gateway Strategy”, is being touted as a “real alternative” to China’s initiative.
The Covid-19 epidemic has very clearly brought to the fore the issue of human suffering due to various weaknesses in the global infrastructure.
The EU will move forward with this project in partner countries aimed at sustainable infrastructure-related development, including bridging the gaps in the world’s infrastructure. This development will be done in a way that prevents climate change and does not harm the environment.
China is boosting trade by developing new roads, ports, railways and bridges through its Belt and Road initiative, which is at the heart of its foreign policy. This initiative has been taken in Asia, Indo-Pacific, Africa, and even the Balkan region of Europe.
However, there is criticism of China’s initiative. There are allegations that they are trapping countries by giving loans.
Andrew Small, a senior official at the German Marshall Fund, told the BBC that through the Global Gateway initiative, the European Union was trying to come up with a package together for the first time and try to determine the financial strategy so that countries thinking of borrowing from China could find an alternative.
On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Lin announced plans for a “global gateway”. He hopes that this scheme will become credible. He also said that the countries need reliable partners to undertake sustainable projects.
The EU is looking at how to raise the billions of euros needed for the Global Gateway from member states, financial institutions and the private sector.
At a briefing last month, China’s ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, said Beijing would welcome the EU’s global gateway strategy if it was open and helpful to developing countries.
However, China has warned that any attempt to turn the infrastructure project into a geopolitical tool would not meet the expectations of the international community.