Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Following Italy's joining of China's Silk Road project, Germany is now calling for all of Europe to sign onto the Belt and Road initiative

As Europe inches more and more away from the United States when it comes to energy and trade, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 26 called for the whole of Europe to follow in Italy's footsteps and sign up for China's Belt and Road initiative.

Also known as the Silk Road 2.0, the Belt and Road initiative is a program intended to forge a direct trade route across Asia, Eurasia, and Europe, and connect the continents from Korea to the UK.


The Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative is an important project, which European states would be glad to join, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stressed that cooperation should be based on reciprocity from Beijing. 
“We, as Europeans, want to play an active part and that must lead to certain reciprocity and we are still wrangling over that a bit,” Merkel said, as quoted by Reuters.
The comment comes shortly after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is currently paying a state visit to France. 
The Chinese president came to France after his three-day visit to Italy. On Saturday, Rome and Beijing signed the memorandum of understanding on Italy’s joining of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The move had not been received well by European nations, particularly France and Germany. French President Emmanuel Macron had called for a more consolidated approach toward China among European allies, at the same time as Paris was signing multi-billion-euro contracts with Beijing. – Russia Today

Besides ignoring Washington's push to have Europe devoted squarely to U.S. hegemony when it comes to the Belt and Road project, Germany's Chancellor is also defying American policy by standing firm on Russia's Nordstream 2 pipeline project.

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