The European Commission releases a list of 70 Global Gateway projects
The initiative, expected to feature EUR 300 billion of public and private investment by 2027, is now acquiring a clearer list of objectives. The, so far internal, list primarily covers a range of infrastructure projects, including an undersea optical fiber cable connecting MENA countries and a hydropower plant in Cameroon. There are also indications that the Commission is planning to appoint a special envoy to the Global Gateway.
The EU’s WTO cases against China move forward
As the EU and China failed to resolve two trade disputes – one related to economic coercion towards Lithuania and another to an enforcement of intellectual property rights – the WTO has now established dedicated dispute panels to resolve the issue. The WTO bodies can be expected to produce the final report in nine to ten months, unless China lodges an appeal, which likely adds a further three months to the process.
EU to launch a new center tracking Chinese and Russian interference
The Information Sharing and Analysis Centre on foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI), announced by High Representative Josep Borrell on February 7, will coordinate efforts of the EU27 and relevant civil society organizations. Parallel to the announcement, the European External Action Service (EEAS) released its first report on FIMI threats. While Russia remains the key actor of concern for the EU, the EEAS has been building its capacity to tackle FIMI originating from China.
Wang Yi’s apparently shortened trip to Europe
Despite previous signals, Wang, now in his new capacity as the CCP’s top diplomat, will not travel to Brussels for exchanges with EU actors. As of now, it appears that he still scheduled to travel to Germany to join the Munich Security Conference.
New Czech President becomes first EU head of state to exchange call with Taiwanese President
Petr Pavel held the phone call a day after winning the Czech presidential elections. Two days later he stated in a public interview that “China and its regime are not a friendly country at the moment.” In the past and during the campaign, he has made several comments that suggest he will push for a more assertive China policy. This will be in sharp contrast to his predecessor, Miloš Zeman, a long-time proponent of engagement with Beijing.