字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント On this episode of China Uncensored, China's pouring money into its team of 16 in Europe. Just to make sure that when it really counts, somebody's going to know which way to kick the ball. Wait, no, no! Not that...way. Hi, welcome back to China Uncensored. I'm Chris Chappell. You know, international politics and sports are a lot alike. You train hard, play your heart out, and in the end… the team with the most money wins. Obviously everyone wants their team to be the best. And over the years, Europe has produced lots of champions. “Italy! World Cup champions...” “Spain are the kings of world football.” “That is it! Germany are the champions of the world!” Europe has also produced champions of human rights. “We recommend an international investigation into forced organ harvesting in China,” And more than once, Europe was willing to address one of the most difficult human rights issues in China. In July 2016, the European Parliament, which represents 28 countries, passed this declaration on stopping organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. And even before that, Parliament passed this resolution, which “expresses its deep concern over the persistent and credible reports of systematic, state‑sanctioned organ harvesting” in China. And they called for the EU to investigate. Well, to make sure this kind of embarrassing exposé of their human rights problems doesn't happen again, the Chinese Communist Party is going on a spending spree. To see if some players on team Europe could “accidentally” fumble the ball sometimes. Like Greece. In our episode from December, Shelley talked about how while the rest of Europe was busy squeezing Greece, China showed up with cargo containers full of cash. And in a move that was definitely in no way related, Greece blocked an EU statement on China's human rights... one that the EU usually makes every year. Greece's European pals were not impressed. “The global human rights agenda is best served when the EU speaks with one voice,” an EU spokesperson said. Which is diplomat-speak for, “Hey Greece, that was not cool.” But China loved it. So much, in fact, that it wants to buy a whole team of players like Greece. It's even got a name: 16 + 1. That is, 16 Central and Eastern European nations, plus one owner-slash-manager with deep pockets— China! 11 of those 16 countries are on the field with the EU, and 5 are on the bench. Team 16 is already getting lots of criticism. Not just in Brussels— the informal capital of the EU— but across the entire continent. One problem, according to an unnamed European diplomat, is that China is using Team 16 to change laws in Europe. “Some of them are touching on areas where there are already initiatives between the EU and China. And we only see the tip of the iceberg.” Ah…the “tip of the iceberg.” Don't worry. Icebergs are probably nothing to worry about. But that warning seems lost on some countries. “In Hungary Chinese Investment is hailed as the 'Eastward Opening.' Serbian authorities see it as the glue in a 'reliable friendship,' while the Polish government describes it as a 'tremendous opportunity.'” An Eastward Opening? Oh, I think I see one…go…go….oh…no! That wasn't supposed to happen. Anyway, it's obvious why Team 16 wants China. China is investing billions of dollars in building infrastructure that will hopefully spur other economic development in their countries. In fact, since 2012, Chinese companies have announced 15 billion dollars worth of investment. It's now all being wrapped into China's One Belt, One Road Initiative. And roads are getting built. In 2014, Chinese state-owned power company and bank agreed to build a 1.5 billion dollar to highway in Bosnia. And a year later, a different Chinese company signed a 3.6 billion dollar deal to build a highway between Albania and Montenegro. These are glorious, heady times. At least until it's time to repay those billions of dollars in loans. But they'll cross that bridge when they come to it. Hopefully. Of course, the Chinese Communist Party is thrilled. Because it stands to buy 16 players in Europe, each willing to take one for the team. And that starts to add up. Like with Hungary— which has been hungry for Chinese investment. Last March, Hungary blocked an EU joint letter that would have denounced the torture of jailed rights lawyers in China. And in July 2015, Greece, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia managed to take out a direct reference to China in an EU statement about a court ruling that struck down China's legal claims over the South China Sea. Now that's the team spirit! Knocking some of the teeth out of Europe's “one voice” policy on China is definitely part of the plan, say EU officials. “China's strategy in Europe is divide and rule,” said Franck Proust, a French Member of European Parliament. “And it's working because the 27 EU member states are incapable to remain in solidarity with each other.” But the bigger danger is that China could use its influence to change laws inside Europe. Already, China is suspected of using its money and influence to change an important EU initiative— that is, EU-wide screening of foreign investments. The push for screenings comes as Chinese investment skyrockets. Which also makes countries more dependent on Chinese money, and less eager to criticize the Chinese regime. But “China's lobbying has already proved effective in diluting the proposed review process.” Basically, the screening process originally would have allowed the EU to block Chinese investments that threatened national security— like CFIUS does in the United States. But in the diluted version, it merely “allows EU institutions to give guidance.” That's like the TSA changing its airport screening policy to a suggestion. “We, uh, suggest that you take your laptop out of your bag and walk through this metal detector and—and hey, hey! Get back here, guys! I was suggesting it for everyone's own good!” I mean, I'd like fewer airport screenings too— unless I found out the group lobbying for it was ISIS. So anyway, the Chinese regime has made some progress at weakening the power of the EU. Some pro-EU politicians are worried that Team 16 countries might use their strong bilateral ties with China as leverage with which to fight against Brussels. And that has Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister, very concerned. He says, “If we do not succeed in developing a single strategy towards China, then China will succeed in dividing Europe.” If true, this is bad news for fans of a strong, united Europe. Especially as the Chinese regime takes advantage of Brexit to further weaken the EU. Pro-EU enthusiasts see long-lasting peace and prosperity as a major benefit of unification— a benefit that's shared among friends. But, when it comes to high-stakes politics, it may be like former Governor of Texas Ann Richards famously said: “In politics your enemies can't hurt you, but your friends will kill you.” Especially if your friends are the kind of people who like buying soccer teams... ...and torturing dissidents. So what do you think about China's investment in Europe? Is China building a winning team, or just making sure when push comes to shove, it's got someone to help them score? Leave your comments below. Thanks for watching this episode of China Uncensored. Once again I'm your host Chris Chappell, see you next time. Keep a close eye on China's checkbook diplomacy. Visit ChinaUncensored.tv. We upload full half hour episodes you won't see on YouTube. Learn about interference from the Chinese regime, even before world leaders do! ChinaUncensored.tv.