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European MPs caution OBOR could make continent subservient to China

Image © http://scd.cn.rfi.fr/sites/chinese.filesrfi/imagecache/rfi_16x9_1024_578/sites/images.rfi.fr/files/aef_image/2017-05-14t124848z_1873405682_rc1b08d61240_rtrmadp_3_china-silkroad_0.jpg

Members of European Parliament (MEP) have expressed concern over real motives of China's mega 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and cautioned that this project could make Europe politically dependent on Beijing.

A conference titled 'European Union and OBOR', hosted by the Brussels-based South Asia Democracy Forum (SADF), was held in the European Parliament (EP) on Friday.

The objective of the conference was to discuss and understand the China-initiated ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR)project, Beijing’s economic, geo-political and strategic motivations behind launching this initiative, and best responses by countries in the EU, to it.

Moderated by Paulo Casaca, Executive Director of the SADF, among those who participated in the event were Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP and Vice-President of the EP, Fulvio Martusciello, MEP, Siegfried Wolf, Senior Researcher on OBOR at the SADF, and Mehran Marri, Baloch representative to the EU.

n his opening remarks, Casaca spoke of the need for greater clarity on OBOR, in view of its still ambiguous nature, and the rapid pace at which it was being used by China to make economic and strategic inroads into Europe.

Providing a perspective, Siegfried Wolf described OBOR as the most ambitious foreign policy initiative undertaken by China since 1949, and highlighted the fact that through this mega-project, China aimed to build a multi-polar world conducive to its national interests, using its economic prosperity over the previous decades to create more political and strategic space for itself, internationally.

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