Munich: The opposition to the ambitious ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping is on the rise in Europe. While criticising China’s ambitious plan at an international conference in Germany, the European leaders said that it was a conflict between the Chinese dictatorial and democratic values. Along with Europe, the US also has criticised this ambitious plan and senior army officers have warned that inclusion of the Latin American countries in the plan is a threat to US security.
‘Following the rise of China, power equations at the international level are changing. The Chinese OBOR is not as straightforward as it looks. Some people from Germany are comparing this plan to Marco Polo, a trader and discoverer. This Chinese plan is nothing but a single point program to increase the Chinese influence in all corners of the world. This plan isn’t just a part of trade and industry. China is trying to thrust its system on others and one must be aware that this system does not include freedom, democracy and human rights’, cautioned Sigmar Gabriel, the German Foreign Minister, about this Chinese plan.
Jean-Claude Juncker, chief of the European Commission confirmed the statement of the German foreign minister. At the same time, the French prime minister also criticised the OBOR plan. ‘The rights to decide the rules for the OBOR plan cannot be exclusively vested with China. Europe and China must take a co-operative stance for development of infrastructure facilities. If it does not happen, there may soon arrive a time where we may have to accept the unilateral Chinese domination’, warned, Philippe Edouard, the French prime minister.
French President Emmanuel Macron reprimanded China about the project during his visit to China in the last month. The French president had criticised China of unilaterally pushing the concerned scheme by saying, ‘The projects proposed in the new ambitious Chinese initiative will be important for both Europe and France if taken forward in co-operation. These new projects should not be the symbol of new domination and colonialism’. British Prime Minister Theresa May also had raised doubts about the ‘OBOR’.
Along with Europe, US also has repeatedly warned about the ambitious Chinese initiative. Under the ‘OBOR’ plan, China is making big investments in Latin America and it includes important projects like ‘Panama’. These projects will create problems for the United States business and security, warned the Kurt Tidd, Commander of the US Southern Command.