German newspaper DW recently quoted experts as saying that Australia’s passage of a law that allows the federal government to cancel agreements that states have signed with foreign countries could lead to The infrastructure that states signed with China on the Belt-Road (BRI) initiative, also known as the New Silk Road, is being canceled.
|Chinese train at Duisburg terminal, Germany.|
Specifically, Heribert Dieter, Germany’s Institute for International Affairs and Security, thinks the cancellation of the agreements is a “very uncomfortable loss of face” for China. Australia’s relations with Beijing “have deteriorated in the past two or three years and are getting worse,” he said.
Dieter told DW that the Australian government’s decision could lead to other countries postponing their withdrawal from the BRI. This initiative has recently lost momentum, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic has left many of China’s partner countries facing economic catastrophe – mainly poor countries in Asia and Africa.
He noted that there was an apparent increase in the will of Indo-Pacific countries to build alliances against China, such as new military cooperation between Australia, India, Japan and the United States. .
“It would be a serious failure for the Chinese narrative to realize that not only Australia, a relatively small country in terms of population, but also the larger players are parting with the BRI and with the right outlook. closer cooperation with China ”- Mr. Dieter said.
The European Union (EU) is also showing signs of change of mind towards China’s ambitions. European governments that once proved friendly with China, like Italy, are increasingly favors a return to closer ties between Europe and America.
Mikko Huotari, director of the research organization for China in Berlin, said the government of Chancellor Merkel is the biggest barrier to the separation of relations between Europe and China. Berlin’s stance may change once Merkel gives up her political career.
The EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) is on hold amid tensions between China and the EU over human rights allegations in Xinjiang, China. This may be a barrier that will slow down cooperation between China and European countries, and reduce China’s influence somewhat.
However, the fact that China has made a very suitable selection of partners is that one country will not because another rejects the BRI like Australia, but is willing to give up China’s tender offers.
|China’s infrastructure projects are spread around the world.|
The present moment “clearly represents an opportunity for Europe to work more closely with the United States under the administration of US President Joe Biden and reduce influence,” said Jonathan Hillman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. in Beijing “.
However, in reality, people do not know how to stop other countries from stopping the project with China or from participating in it. And whose project would it be if not China?
“If a country that has an interest to implement a project receives a wealth of finance from China, how can the West persuade them to turn down Chinese projects? It seems impossible, “Hillman said, citing the complex loan procedures of Western institutions completely different from those of China.
“It is difficult to have a single global infrastructure initiative to replace the BRI” – said the expert.