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German Foreign Minister Warns against Being Naive When Dealing with China

In a discussion on the EU’s China strategy at the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, the German Social Democratic Party’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said that, in order to defend its own interests and values, it is important for the EU to develop relations with China in a united fashion, instead of each country acting in its own way.

In view of China’s efforts to participate in important infrastructure projects in Europe, Maas warned that one should not be too naive. He said, of course, people should see that “China is also pursuing its strategic interests through economic policies.”

Maas’s remarks are a warning regarding China’s telecom giant Huawei’s participation in 5G construction. He may also be critical of Italy. Following some smaller EU economies, Rome announced that it will reach a framework agreement with China on the Belt and Road Initiative. Through this project, China hopes to open up trade routes to Europe and Africa. Rome, on the other hand, hopes to promote China’s investment in ports such as Genoa and Taranto.  Several EU countries criticized Rome’s move.

Source: Radio France International, March 18, 2019