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Europe turns its concerns to China’s growing clout as Xi visits

2019-03-17 09:23:59       source:CNBC

March 16, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Italy and France next week amid a European Union firestorm over the dangers of rapidly growing Chinese trade and investments – particularly regarding next-generation telecom technology – and intensifying divisions among its members about how to deal with them.

Western media coverage has understandably focused on the unfolding Brexit drama in London, where British lawmakers failed to agree on a viable path forward. However, what went under-reported was that at the same time the EU took its most significant steps yet – though belated and insufficient – to address China’s increasingly assertive and state-subsidized push into Europe.

After months of study, the European Commission released its “EU-China: Strategic Outlook, ” included the clearest and toughest language yet toward China in an EU document. After years of a more benign approach to Beijing, it branded China as “an economic competitor in the pursuit of technological leadership, and a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.”

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