China: Buying Up Europe – article by Judith Bergman for the US based Gatestone Institute - 14.01.22

A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, according to Datenna, a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe, had "high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies."


For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy. Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently.


When the Chairman of the UK parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, wrote that Chinese ownership of the British microchip plant, Newport Wafer Fab, "represents a significant economic and national security concern", UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng responded that the deal had been "considered thoroughly". Only after considerable pressure did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agree to a national security review of the sale.


The European Court of Auditors, an EU institution that oversees EU finances, has found that gaining an overview of Chinese investments in the EU is difficult because of the lack of comprehensive data; it seems no one is recording it.


Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns also appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently.


The "strictest screening frameworks" clearly are not stopping China.


What appears to be urgently needed in Europe now is a deeper understanding of the threat that China poses, as well as the political will to act on it. Action is urgently needed to block investments that serve up Europe's strategic assets on a silver platter to China's state-owned companies, which the Chinese Communist Party then use to advance its expansionist ends.


For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy. China appears to be using these European assets to help fulfil the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) ambitions of becoming a global force, technologically independent of the West and ultimately supplanting the US as the world's economic, political and military superpower.


China has been covering up its European purchases by passing them off as ostensibly commercial investments. It has been hiding the state-owned companies involved in the investments behind "layers of ownership, complex shareholding structures and deals executed via European subsidiaries," according to Datenna, a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe. A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, according to Datenna, had "high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies, including some in advanced technologies".


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China - Buying Up Europe – article by Judith Bergman for the Gatestone Institute
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