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tv   Quadriga - The New Silk Road Chinas Route to Europe  Deutsche Welle  May 25, 2018 6:30am-7:01am CEST

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we make up of what we watch as often and that's it we ought to separate seven percent. want to shape the continent's future to. be part of and growing african youngsters as the share their stories their dreams and their challenges. the seventy seven percent. platform for africa is. zero and a very warm welcome indeed to quadriga art and this week as german chancellor angela merkel visits china we take a closer look at beijing's geo political ambitions president xi jinping has established himself as china's leader for life and he seems determined to transform
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his country into the dominant global power it's already challenging the us is the world's biggest economy and now china is extending its strategic and commercial influence through the creation of a giant trading that work known as the new silk road. so our question quadriga this week is the new silk road china's route to europe and to discuss that question i'm joined by three excellent analysts here in the studio beginning with. who's a senior expert on china for the battle's man foundation he believes that trying to balance china's influence in a reasonable way may be running. also with us is under as clues but it's there in chief fault congress block global he was once based in hong kong and has for many years followed the rise of china i'm sorry it says that europe should stop being naive china has a plan for economic domination of the. scene. and a very well welcome to to ruth cash. ruth is
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a freelance journalist in china experts and she argues that china's belts and road initiative is a good idea in principle but she goes on it lacks transparency and ties participating countries into an all for its history of system. thank you all three for being here with me today. with a big statement and something to show you say china has a plan for the economic domination of the eurasian lunch and sees so how close is beijing to realizing that goal beijing has a long time horizon which is one of the things that distinguishes china from the western democracies and it also looks far back in the chinese narrative china once was the economic superpower of the world in our middle ages the telling in a city and on words and then came the great humiliation at the hands of the west when the western countries through the industrial revolution passed by and left to be our aim told and for the chinese psyche he yes and they dwell on it to day. to
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an extent that it's surprising to to us there the opium wars and whatnot. it but in their narrative it's now all about reestablishing what is rightfully theirs which is economic power alongside other powers and i think economic dominance eventually and to translate that economic power into political power and for that they have unlike the west a a coherent plan that has elements like the something useful growed like the targeted theft and transfer of technology and more. no we already living in the chinese century no i don't think we are already living in that in the twentieth century what i think what's happening what we're witnessing is a shift of power centers and away from the u.s. i don't think this is a this is china yet. but china is going to play a much more dominant role in the future expensive role. and more expansive role
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definitely economically and we see that through grand skiing's like the one belt one road initiative on the ballot and road initiative as it's now called and and china where china wants to move politically and strategically i think that is still a much more open question we're not quite sure yet and then about you say it's time to balance china's influence in a reasonable way in a reasonable way could be running out what does that mean if you look at what's happening in the us where scapegoating china for taking america's job away as become the dominant political theme then that is quite a dangerous populist path to take in europe we can be quite happy that we're not there yet but of course china poses a lot of challenges to the global trading system to global governance and there have to be a lot of negotiations for what the global world order is going to be and.
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until we can still discuss reasonably and we don't have populist movements and we don't have proper politicians who campaign on scapegoating china for our problems there is still a chance for good diplomacy to work things out and when you talk about scapegoating china you just see you you guys are the battles among foundation you've come up with a new report looking at china buying up high tech high end companies around europe in germany that is viewed as a threat by many people in germany because they believe that the chinese it's the cliche isn't it they believe that the chinese are going to copy reproduce and leave the europeans lying in the dust or is it will complicated them that it is more complicated than that because china is now openly saying that they want to become wilt leaders in core technologies in the next couple of years and what our report shows is that they're very strategically buying german and other european western technology companies and the problem there is that our markets are very open
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they're basically welcome to come and invest here while their markets are closed and closing even more so the problem is a level playing the villain this this bio up that you you've been identifying and writing about it takes place with state backing so it makes for an unfair playing field as it were absolutely that we don't know the ownership structure is this. the state money in there it's tied to this big plan made in china twenty twenty five we all fall for competition that's what the german economic model is built on but china is very much an leveling the playing field and that kind of minute if you lay sion is a big problem for the german industry and if you just want to spell out that point about the unlevel playing field the way in just in recent weeks what the chinese have been doing is they've they've built a surreptitious share. holding
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a chinese company has bought up on without acknowledging it at the proper time a stake of about ten percent and dimer so that's one of the technologies they're after right now they're having a second attempt to buy internet electricity grid operator that is also a question and people and i think i liked what you said about in america has gone too far the populists trump have taken the debate here for some reason that hasn't entered the populist sort of bullhorn yet and but there are i believe in germany for instance the most people are unaware of this but people like the new economics minister it's now his job to think calmly but firmly about this and because france is in the thing on his desk is right now the chinese are trying to buy into the electricity a grid operator again and by by our rules. he could i think intervene once they get twenty five percent i believe and they stop just short of that
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a twenty percent and he has a few weeks to decide he doesn't want them to have it what does he do so that's the dilemma we're and we have rules and laws and we can't change those quickly and they because they have stayed back and they do whatever they want ok at the heart of our discussion today is the new silk road project it's a massive transport and trading initiative the traces the ancient trading routes of the old silk road so there are two main routes one is the land route from china and across central asia the middle eastern russia into eastern europe before reaching the german city of duis book there's also a maritime route that links southern china in southeast asia with east africa before then also leading to europe let's find out a little bit more now about what may well be the largest infrastructure project in history. chinese president xi was joined by representatives from more than one hundred countries last year at the so road summit in beijing among the participants turkish president obama and russian president putin not in
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attendance german chancellor merkel. the new silk road project intends to do much more than revive the trade routes with an investment of nine hundred billion dollars china wants to build an almost global trade network with roads railways ports and airports it would connect china with central asia africa and europe it's about business but also about establishing influence and political power in germany and most of the european countries there's still a feeling of mistrust feel officials won't currently sign a joint declaration they say she doesn't adhere to european values of transparency or environmental and social standards china is advancing west but who will be using the new silk for a. first cousin who will be using the new silk road and this is a threat or an opportunity well i think it's
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a bit of both really it's an opportunity for a lot of countries that desperately need infrastructure investment both in asia and central asia about also in some parts of europe and of course in africa that's all sounds very benign that is the idea is such i think it's benign and as i think it's perfectly understandable to actually improve transport links and connectivity across those regions i think what we need to look at very carefully is individual projects and who is benefiting who is financing these projects who are the companies or where the companies from mainly from china and who are building these projects and where does it leave the countries that are involved in these projects does it leave them with a higher debt levels as we've seen in some countries. and to of these are these projects really beneficial to the countries that sign up to it it only does does it does china have a neo colonial or gender it almost sounds at times like the british building trains
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in india. they would definitely say that they're not colonial but. when we look at it it definitely is it geo political project it's not only about trading and building infrastructure the second step is of course building political influence and basically reshaping the world order around the countries that joined the news so you feel that it was right and good from. american not to have attended the silk road summit. is the challenge here is that we have to take up china's offer to say that this is a multilateral project because this would be a good idea in theory it's a good thing but in practice until now it is not and the challenge here is to work with china because we need china as a partner we're not going to contain china and anyway we shouldn't and at the same
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time we have to acknowledge that china has a very strong strategy there where we have none that we don't have similar offers that we can make to emerging economies telling them we can help you to build power stations and and networks train networks in a similar way so we have to be more receptive to their needs and come up with an alternative and only if we have an alternative and it's actually in the german coalition treaty that we need european alternative to the silk road only then can we put pressure on china to level the playing field and make it truly multilateral and i think part of the problem is that a lot of these projects can be both they they have a strategic aim but they also have economic benefits so if you build a harbor for a country i mean that's good for trade but you could actually also use it for other
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purposes that military for instance so i think a part of that is that it's that we never quite sure what we're talking about and of course on the chinese side it's also the lack of transparency it's also as it's also it's this is surely about values we used to naive li in the west assume that if there's trade in this commerce and there are markets the byproduct would be democracy that has now proved to be rather naive to put it mildly absolutely and in that whole mixture of economics and political politics i don't think the chinese see that distinction. and so that is a western liberal idea and i think a more cantle ist an economic nationalist doesn't have that idea and i just want to say that in the same places where they're building the the road and as well as the belt for instance that of course overlaps with for instance the south china sea where they're deliberately also trying to get america in they have a strategy of extending that perimeter where chinese into which they can project
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chinese power and prevent america american power from being projected and in the south china sea there's symbol tenuously turning small islets into permanent aircraft carriers and they're happily picking off the philippines and other countries that were in the american or the western orbit and that that's difficult for countries like new zealand and australia in the long term and bringing them into their orbit so they see this as one project and that's why i call it coherent and that is something that we were not used to having. just like to shift the focus it over because we have to we're talking about two things here we're talking about china strategy but we're also talking about visit to beijing which is currently taking place it's i think it's eleventh this it's to beijing in twelve years in office yeah that's very diligent yeah that's very could be it's how is she seen in china or is she an important voice. i think at the moment china is quite willing to listen to germany and europe because they need europe or they hope that
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europe could play a role to balance the u.s. . invented very long standing personal connections at the same time china is very realistic about what they can do with with european countries and yes they need as the leader of the strongest european country at the same time they're doing a lot to drive european countries apart but i've been trying to feel take on the truth because i you came to discover a quote from anglo-american saying that china really only views europe as a sort of peripheral asian peninsula is it but now i don't think it's that bad about i think at the time phil is very realistic about the role china germany can or cannot play and germany is the biggest economy in europe is the most important country within the e.u. but. from the chinese perspective it's still a relatively small country and so i think if the chancellor is realistic about how
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much weight she actually has she knows about that and there's of course the ginny's economic power but when it comes to the big geopolitical questions i'm germany's voice council lot less and i think that has to be taken into account but was suddenly discovering. as we talked about differences between europe and china there are suddenly a lot of common ground there is a comment that there is a lot of common ground and there isn't because a while when it comes to trade both countries neither neither neither china nor the north germany or the e.u. want to terror of slept on some of the exporting goods that. also germany and the u.s. have common interests he's a bit of a china when it comes to market access and when it comes to an. comic policies in china and what those both countries want want to see change so i think that puts
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actually turns the map and and it pretty difficult position and on the one hand to keep communication channels with the u.s. open and he. needs the u.s. i mean china and the u.s. not germany's biggest trading partners but he also wants to he wants to carry on with a very good relations with china but doesn't want to be seen to be that she said of being pushed into sort of china's arms because of the conflicts but then with the americans you know they're absolutely ok. i have two fears from about this and one is first of all i do think it's as bad as that quote suggests from the chinese point of view europe is a little appendage peninsular the end of asia and i think that europe could become in this century which is still young rule takers not rule makers and the second fears the church in that the chinese might clash with the reigning or waning superpower which is america and i was really intrigued when i was there this is now
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years ago when i was speaking to young scholars inside the chinese communist party and what they wanted to talk about is the history as thorkell clash between britain and germany in the nineteenth century that was the british century and germany rose to build its empire its place in the sun and it led to eventually world war one which they wanted to avoid the chinese and i'd be interested if they still are as keen to avoid that permanently or if they just want to avoid it until such a time as when they think they could win such a showdown with the us so i think it's actually a dangerous world and i think again this the nineteenth century was british the twentieth was american this one which is just starting will be chinese ok very interesting thoughts indeed hundred s. let's just go back a little bit to the new silk road and as we have seen the western german city of duis book is an important hub on the routes but so what does that mean in concrete terms for this once prosperous city that has more recently hit on harder times.
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duisburg after eleven thousand kilometers one trade route of the new silk road ends here twenty five trains a week arrived with goods and hope for the future chinese investors are very welcome here. again we're building a china trade center here on this land behind us we will have one hundred twenty thousand square meters of office space over five stories. tall. that's appealing to a region with high unemployment the coal industry lost tens of thousands of jobs last year duisburg is also one of europe's largest inland ports an ideal hub to forward goods on but how reliable is china as an investor. going to process a good question how reliable is china as an investor it could be engaging in
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massive overstretch. well if you look at it from a german perspective then they are not very big invested yet their strategic investors if you look at the at the silk road they have a lot of money to spend there but they conned by the world they will need other countries to support the initiative and i think that's that's the main main challenge that it's not only about money and actually. we should not only look at the money that china spends we also spending a lot of money the west is spending a lot of money it's not like china invented building bridges and roads in developing countries maybe they invented that five thousand years ago but right now they're doing what the world bank and a lot of other developing agencies have been doing it's interesting because china in advance of medical visits to to beijing is has been complaining itself and asking how reliable is germany as
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a trading partner china points to and i'm quoting here a protectionist trend in germany saying only zero point three percent of foreign investors in the german in germany stem from china while german firms have invested eighty billion euros in china in recent decades the challenge is economic exchange cannot be a woman way street. under the i mean it's our data says this is the cynicism in that this is being the chinese ambassador to germany speaking out much quoted in advance. of his yes in there they've got quite good at sort of rhetorical red herrings and that you know you shape the debate in advance he was posing at the davos as the protect his protector of free trade suddenly this is very cynical that those billions of german investment and the many other billions of american and british and other investment in china we could talk about that what happens to that there are strict rules that there they have to form joint ventures with local partners there are stories from
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german metal stone companies of having these joint ventures one of having factories all the employees really looked really tired so one day the german boss drives home to see where they're going and they're going to a identical factory at night working a second shift recreating what they learned during the day so these billions and that they have used in this investment into china to i would say steal and transfer and copy and then improve on key technologies and so so there is so much wrong with that sort of allegation that i don't even know where to start with i think we should fall for it yeah and if you look at the openness of both markets the european market and the chinese market i mean it's very clear that. you market is very very open to foreign investment and a lot of the investments that that are happening here would not be possible because the chinese are protecting their own industries and don't have the same openness
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and that investment rules and regulations and as the europeans so i think the those quotes by the chinese ambassador i mean they were. they were they were designed to sort of stand the debate in a certain direction i wouldn't agree with hunter. yes but it's very hard to take that seriously and how much divide and rule is there in the in the chinese trance she was certainly seeing in elements of the chinese attempt it would seem to drive a wedge between eastern european countries and western european countries in brussels. i think that is it is a certain amount of sort of divide and rule but part of it is that the europeans allow this to let this happen they are very different interests them in different parts of europe and there are some countries that definitely want to invest in chinese investment in the infrastructure that other countries like germany do welcome chinese investment of all sorts but have become
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a bit more wary of it recently and are now much keener on maybe screening chinese investments a bit more carefully so i think the challenge here for the europeans is to come up with a sort of joint strategy as over his and so come up with a joint strategy how to go about this challenge how to quit we're going to make it specific one of the big discussions we're having at the moment is how are we going to money tall and control investment in europe and that is something that by european law we have to decide in brussels and the issue there is that china is very strongly represented to specially in eastern european countries or china is in fact sitting at the table and has its allies who are going to settle taj some of these initiatives are going to name some names that for us will hungary is the
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country that is very much discussed at the moment that was coming back to the silk road. famous i should actually say report by european ambassadors in beijing for made a report about how this new silk road is a very china dominated and very manipulative initiative and i'm carrying ambassador was the only one who didn't sign that report and didn't share it in the concern of his colleagues interesting ok we're running out of time i thought just. a question today is china coming to europe in a word yes of course they're already here there it's going to be a chinese century we have to get used to it china. already here and then they had to here to stay and so after thinking a cafe had to deal with them. it's good that they hear their welcome that they hear we conned out chinese the chinese but we want to be there too and you want the
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world with a level playing field thanks very much for them to know your thoughts today thank you to all through you being here on country girl topic has been the new silk road china's routes to europe thank you for joining us.
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