Interview: Bernd Lange – not satisfied with EU supply chain law
Olympics: Summary of a bitter Beijing Olympics + Exclusive survey: China’s reputation has suffered
Wang Yi warns Russia – but above all the USA
VW talks with Huawei about smart driving division
China once again most important trading partner
EU wants better protection for European patents
Beijing’s plan for energy transition
Five new coal-fired power plants approved since start of year
Profile: Andres Schell – expanding to China with Rolls-Royce engines
So To Speak: If things get serious, do not be a (superfluous) light bulb!
Yesterday, the Winter Olympics in Beijing ended with a stunning closing ceremony. It was a sports festival entirely in the spirit of the political leaders: China won far more gold medals than in 2018, the panda mascot won many hearts on social media, and Beijing was able to prove to its people that China can hold an Olympic event even under Covid restrictions. But an unsettling feeling remains. Awarding the Olympics to an authoritarian regime that tramples on human rights is now widely seen as a mistake. Beijing has politicized the Olympics and also failed to deliver on its promises of sustainability, Marcel Grzanna summarizes.
Together with our partner Civey, we have surveyed the German public on their impression of the mega-event. The result is clear: The event has tarnished both the image of the Olympics and that of China. That sounds suspiciously like a lose-lose situation.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yin apparently also fears a no-win in the Ukraine crisis. At the Munich Security Conference, he mainly criticized the behavior of the United States. But when asked, he also made it clear that an invasion of Ukraine would not at all be in the interest of the People’s Republic.
Forced labor and China – a persistent issue. Recently, the US announced an import ban on products from Xinjiang that may be connected to forced labor. The EU is still lagging a bit behind in this regard. The new supply chain act, which will be introduced on Wednesday, does not include such a ban. Speaking to Amelie Richter, Bernd Lange expresses his disappointment over this in today’s interview. Ursula von der Leyen bit more off than she could chew, complains the Chair of the Trade Committee in the European Parliament. But Lange promises not to put the issue on the back burner. According to Lange, the EU supply chain law could not take effect until early 2026.
Have a pleasant week!
Your Nico Beckert
‘Ursula von der Leyen bit off more than she could chew’
The EU Commission will present its long-awaited supply chain law on Wednesday – without an import ban on items produced with forced labor. The Chair of the Trade Committee in the European Parliament, Bernd Lange (SPD), is not happy about this. He now expects a separate EU law to ban such imports, which then simply has to be accepted by the Chinese. Lange speaks with Amelie Richter about the impact the supply chain law will have on trade with China.
Mr. Lange, how disappointed are you and the European Parliament that the import ban on products from forced labor will not be included in the EU supply chain law?
First of all, we are furious that the entire legislative process took so long in the first place. There were delays, including by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board. The ban on forced labor products also came later in the supply chain legislation process and has a different focus. But we would have liked to see a joint legislative package. There are, of course, still a few substantive issues to be addressed. How do you deal with the products? Is there a dialogue period? Is it really an import ban directly at the port? Or should it also be a marketing ban if these products are imported via a third country? There are actually still a few technical questions that need to be resolved. In this respect, there is a certain logic to the fact that this will now be done even more thoroughly and that there will also be an impact assessment. If this had simply been slapped together, there simply would not have been one. It would have been nicer to have done everything last year, but unfortunately, some things prevented that.
The EU Commission and Ursula von der Leyen announced the import ban in a big way. Did they perhaps bite off more than they could chew?
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