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The European Union BRI Argument Outline (8-2-19)

Argument List  Introduction Daily Update     Key Cards Reasons EU Action is Critical


Pro Arguments

Helps Europe

Helps Europe’s economy generally
(a) Joining BRI will increase Europe’s exports to China, reducing Europe’s trade deficit with China
(b) Stronger trade infrastructure in Europe will increase trade within Europe
(c) If Europe joins as a bloc, there will be more unity in Europe and trade within Europe.  Current agreements cause conflict within the EU because the EU is supposed to have a unified trade market
(d) If Europe doesn’t join as a group; China will continue to pick-off Individual Europe countries, and undermine European unity
(e) Individual countries will get worse deals that if they join as a whole
(e) Europe gets access to needed capital from China

European unity — If Europe joins as a bloc that will reduce status quo conflicts that are created when individual countries join

EU environmental standards
(a) Right now China controls the BRI. If Europe joins that means Europe can push its own environmental standards

EU Human Rights Standards
(a) Right now China controls the BRI. If Europe joins that means Europe can push its own human rights \ standards

Europe gets access to China’s 5G technology, 5G good (for¬† Europe), including¬†smart cities good

Status quo means telecommunications relies on sea cables, BRI creates land cables that create redundancy and reduce the risk of internet disruptions

Science & Technology Cooperation good

Helps Europe build ties to other countries in South Asia that are included with the BRI.

Helps China

China’s economy
(a) BRI supports China’s steel, aluminum, and cement industries. Those are important to its economy.¬† These industries might also be important for China’s security.
(b) Generally increase China’s exports
(c) Chinese  companies benefit because they build most of the infrastructure
(d) Supports dredging industry
Supports rail industry
(f) Supports energy industry
(g) Sustains China’s steel exports, steel exports key to economy

— 30 million potentially unemployed

Reduces China conflict with the US
(a) Provides an alternate trade partner for China

BRI supports nuclear power development, nuclear power good

BRI promotes China’s global leadership, China global leadership good

Good For the World

Strong China -EU ties boost global multilateralism and strengthens the WTO, which is currently under assault.  Free trade good impacts.

EU capital investment sustains the BRI, BRI generally good

Climate Change
(a) China-EU cooperation means there is investment into sustainable energy funds, helping the world meet the Paris targets.
(b) EU will push China to meet climate targets, incorporate sustainable development (China environmental standards)
— A key part of the strategy is to say European countries will trade with China now and that it’s non-unique.

Rail routes to Europe good
(a) Rail routes reduce air pollution from plans

(b) Rail routes reduce ocean pollution from ships

BRI Promotes development, China’s development model best — BRI is a more socialist or “state managed capitalism” alternative to global development and that is best for global development. Teams may also read “democracy bad” and “capitalism bad” impacts to this.

Reduces debt traps —¬† Right now the initiative is entirely controlled by China, now Europe has influence and the EU joining would bring in European capital

BRI supports a multipolar world, multipolarity good
Promotes China’s world leadership/Chinese world leadership best/US hegemony bad
— Why does it increase China’s World Leadership?
(a) Cement’s
China’s economic ties with at least 28 European countries
(b) Undermines US relations with Europe
(c) Creates two stronger poles in the world — Europe and China, making the world more multipolar

Increased availability of capital from EU/China means countries can rely less on IMF/World Bank, IMF/World Bank Bad

China helps BRI countries improve agriculture practices

European countries will inevitably join 5G networks.  If the EU joins they can can best secure the network.

Expanding internet infrastructure helps farmers and reduces poverty 

Con Arguments

Bad for Europe

Disrupts relations with the US
— It would be a radical change in allegiances to have¬†Western European countries join

Charles Stevens, the founder of The New Silk Road Projecttells, March 13, 2018, New Silk Road Project founder: Developments in Azerbaijan are significant, Nexis

Q.: What would it mean for Western European countries to join the Belt and Road initiative? Do you expect more countries to join it in future?

A.: I think it would mark a great success for BRI as a strategy.

With the UK leaving the European Union the economic region has had a jolt to its confidence. Whilst the EU does not have a united policy towards BRI some countries, particularly in Eastern Europe have been more receptive. This includes Belarus which is not formally part of the EU but participates in the EU’s Eastern Partnership. It would signal a decisive shift in strategic direction and historic allegiances were Western European countries to align more closely with BRI. China has been clever in presenting BRI as a development which is open for any countries to participate in this includes the U.S.

– Trump is against

  • Europe just launched a project to counter. 

    Scenario: Trump will withdraw from NATO, NATO good

Requirements for European companies are bad

Hurts Europe’s economy
(a) Disrupts (trade) relations with the US
(b) If Europe gets more loans from China the European companies will just be dependent on the loans without increasing exports, creating a transfer of more wealth out of Europe
(c)  China will dominate the trading relationship
(d) China will reorganize global supply chains in a way that hurts Europe.

Europe gets access to China’s 5G technology, being on China’s 5G network is bad (spies on Europe, threatens cyber security,¬†smart cities bad, etc)

BRI gives China more Data, AI based on Data, China over takes US (and European allies) on AI

BRI supports a multipolar world, multipolarity bad

BRI will undermine Europe’s trade standards, including investment, labor, and environmental standards

BRI will cause infighting in Europe and weaken European unity

Creates debt traps

News media is part of the BRI and China will use it to promote propaganda

Cooperation with China leads to the election of nationalist candidates in Europe.  European nationalism bad. 

Bad for the World

Promotes China’s world leadership/China’s world leadership bad/US hegemony good
China-dominated Eurasia will replace the US-led global liberal world order

China-EU BRI cooperation means the US stops sharing intelligence with the EU. Terrorism impact.

Terrorists will attack the BRI

France and/or Germany will leave the European Union if the EU joins the BRI

Increased China empire/threat

Reduced US power, Reduced US port access

Debt trap

BRI Promotes development, China’s development model best — BRI is a more socialist or “state managed capitalism” alternative to global development and that is bad for global development/capitalism is better.¬† Teams may also read “democracy good” impacts to this.

China violates human rights
(a) Europe won’t be able to criticize if it joins BRI
(b) Europe should not support China when China is a human rights violator (Instead, Europe should shun China)
There are are HR violations during BRI projects, Pro expands BRI

Alternative energy development hurts the economies of oil producing countries
New energy technologies lower oil prices, making the transition to new energy technologies difficult

Environmental problems, pollution

Sustains the BRI, BRI generally bad
(b) More dams, dams bad
(c)General environmental harms

Economic dependence on China bad

BRI supports the development of a strong dredging industry in China, strong dredging industry supports China’s aggression in the South China Sea.

Democracy — BRI investments support corruption and autocratic rulers

Imperialism — BRI supports China’s imperialism

China moderating its aggression in the South China Sea because it depends on the seas for trade.  Reducing dependence on seas and having more land routes means China will be more aggressive in the SCIS.

Needed Impact Evidence

Free trade good
US hegemony good/bad
China hegemony good/bad
European economic growth good
Europe-US ties good/bad
Should shun human rights violators
Human rights violations bad
Poverty bad
Unemployment bad
US naval power good
Environment impacts — general
Deforestation impacts
EU unity good/bad

Framework Questions

EU is the actor and should only care about its own interests
EU should care about the interests of its allies (especially the US)
EU should care generally about the interests of the world.