Energy Controversy

Europe splits on Chinese investments

Hungary Diplomacy
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban welcomes investments from Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Source: AP.

Sharp divisions are emerging between countries in western and eastern Europe over whether to impose restrictions on Chinese investments in key infrastructure projects. Because the European Union works on consensus, it’s seems increasingly likely that any investment limits will be bilateral rather than region-wide.

With support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron has pushed for the enactment of stricter rules for Chinese companies trying to buy European firms. He has complained that Beijing’s restrictions on foreign investment in China increase the need for counterbalancing limits on Chinese investments in European firms.

But an effort by the European Commission, which proposes legislation, to more closely monitor investments from third countries, has run into stiff opposition in the European Council, where each member state has a vote.

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