China: rescuer or rival?

Alexia Barakou

For this, the Chinese in Europe wisely exploit the failures of our governments and actually help regions and countries in need. Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the European Union has increased by almost 50 times in only eight years.

But to what extent is this economic interdependence used by the Chinese government to serve, not only economic but also geostrategic purposes, buying political influence through investment.

As Chinese globalisation continues apace, IE asks, is this good for Europe or does it come at too high a price?

IE reporters travelled Europe from Portugal up to the nordic outskirts of Norwegian Kirkenes and found answers that might contradict a few of your expectations.

Stay tuned for publications from all over Europe in the coming weeks.

China eyes Norway as first port of call in Europe on ‘Arctic Silk Road’

What do you get if you mix a fervent mayor, a shipping pioneer, a melting Arctic, China’s interests and the world’s third-largest container company? Plans for an “Arctic Rotterdam” in Kirkenes, northern Norway. IE member Ingeborg Eliassen travelled north to find out more.

Read her article: China eyes Norway as first port of call in Europe on ‘Arctic Silk Road’

Don’t speak out!

Part of our investigation on Chinese investors in Europe looked at how China is silencing critics of its human rights violations (labelled as “internal affairs”) through economic and political pressure – even in Europe.

IE member Nico Schmidt documented how politicians get unpleasant visits, how minorities are spied on and how CEOs of global companies have to bow to pressure.

Read the article: Don’t speak out!

Europe’s Hypocrisy

During the euro crisis, EU governments put pressure on countries such as Greece and Portugal to sell critical infrastructure to Chinese companies – and now preach the opposite.

Read the op-ed by IE member Paulo Pena on this hypocrisy – and his related scoop on the shady circumstances of the sale of Portuguese electricity companies to Chinese investors.


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