EPP parliamentary group leader: no corona aid for Chinese companies

Photo: Manfred Weber (via dts news agency)
Photo: Manfred Weber (via dts news agency)

Brussels (dts news agency) – Before the virtual summit of Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Council President Charles Michel and Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen with China’s President Xi Jinping this Monday, the CSU MEP Manfred Weber calls for better protection of Europe’s industry. “The money of the European taxpayers should neither directly nor indirectly benefit Chinese state-owned companies, projects or technologies,” he told the “S├╝ddeutsche Zeitung” (Monday edition). The parliamentary group leader of the European Christian Democrats calls on the EU Commission to regulate the allocation of the many billions from the reconstruction fund to cope with the corona pandemic so that they only flow into domestic projects.

In addition to an “Invest in Europe” principle, the CSU vice-president also calls for a moratorium on Chinese takeovers in Europe in order to protect strategically important companies in the 27 EU countries that are troubled by the global economic crisis triggered by the corona pandemic are. A meeting between President Xi and the heads of state and government of all 27 EU countries was actually planned for September 14 in Leipzig, which was postponed due to Corona. During the German Council Presidency until the end of 2020, Merkel wants to ensure more unity with China.

In the video conference, according to diplomats, the EU side will demand clear commitments from the Chinese on climate protection. For example, Beijing will no longer build coal-fired power plants or finance them abroad. The climate neutrality that Europe plans for 2050 should be achieved by China by 2060 at the latest.

The EU is also demanding clear concessions in the negotiations on an investment protection agreement, which should guarantee that European companies in China receive the same access as the other way round. Despite “certain progress”, there is growing skepticism in Brussels that this agreement can be finalized by the end of December, as Merkel had formulated as a goal at the beginning of the year. The European Parliament would have to approve such a treaty, but it is becoming increasingly critical of China.

In the opinion of the Green MP Reinhard B├╝tikofer, the chairman of the EU Parliament’s China delegation, bilateral relations are “worse than ever”.