The European Union will launch „Global Gateway” as a scheme to compete with China‘s Belt and Road Initiative- the massive, geopolitically influential network of infrastructure and transport investments that Beijing uses to link its exporters to western markets, according to Politico.
„We want to turn Global Gateway into a trusted brand around the world,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during the annual State of the Union address on Wednesday.
„We will build Global Gateway partnerships with countries around the world. We want investments in quality infrastructure, connecting goods, people and services around the world,” added von der Leyen.
She didn’t shy away from her primary target, China which has been criticized by the West for extending its strategic reach and creating debt dependence through its multibillion-dollar infrastructure and investment scheme.
„We want to create links and not dependencies! (…) We are good at financing roads. But it does not make sense for Europe to build a perfect road between a Chinese-owned copper mine and a Chinese-owned harbour. We have to get smarter when it comes to these kinds of investments,” said von der Leyen
A priority, she added, would be for the EU to discuss connectivity projects with Africa during a regional summit in February.
Her remarks come three months after the 27 EU leaders tasked her team to come up with a name and a logo for the EU’s new plan against the Belt and Road.