The Government yesterday received with red carpet to Xi Jingping, the first chinese president to visit Spain in 13 years, but he made it clear from the beginning that it does not intend to subscribe to the New Route of the Silk (Belt and Road Initiative or the BRI, according to its official name in English), a huge plan of infrastructures (railway and maritime to connect China with major economies of Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Spain does not rule out participating in specific projects, but refuses to subscribe globally-an initiative that divides Europe. Spain does not want to offend his powerful guest. On the contrary. The two Governments promulgated a joint declaration on “strengthening of the strategic relationship integral” between Spain and China that seeks to deepen relations in political, economic or cultural.
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in order To justify their refusal to subscribe to the BRI, sources of Moncloa argue that the EU “has just passed its own initiative, connectivity with Asia, and it is logical that it is in that framework in which they work, the europeans.” This position, they contend, “is understood by the chinese authorities”. The same sources added that Spain does not rule out to participate in concrete initiatives in the framework of the BRI or to attend their forums (Rajoy attended the held in Beijing in may 2017) and deny that it is a shift with respect to the previous Government.
What is certain is that the initiative of Beijing divides Europe. France and Germany have rejected to join a project that many refer to as opaque and considered to be a vehicle for extending chinese influence. Instead, they have signed some 90 countries around the world eager to receive the manna of chinese investments, including the majority of the members of the East of the EU (Poland to Greece), which soon could join Portugal. Lisbon will be one of the stages of the tour Jingping, who will also take you to Panama, in the backyard of the united States, and will have its culminating point in the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, where he will meet with president Donald Trump, who has threatened to raise again the duties on chinese products in a new twist of the trade war between the two superpowers.
The football League looks to the asian giant
The football League wants to expand its presence in the chinese market. With that goal, their representatives participated yesterday in the I Congress Corporate Counsel Hispanic-Chinese along with another 16 Spanish companies and 15 chinese. Responsible for the asian market in The League, Sergi Torrent, acknowledged that the chinese market is, next to the one of EE UU, the most interesting to the entity that brings together the football clubs.
Proportionately, the trade deficit of Spain with China is not less than the USA. In 2017, Spain imported by 25.661 billion, and exported by 6.257, so that the trade balance is in deficit by more than 75%. However, the Spanish strategy to alleviate this imbalance does not pass by to impose tariffs, such as Trump, but by breaking down the barriers of a market of 1,400 million people, 17.5% of the world's population. It is expected that during the visit of Jingping signed eight institutional arrangements. Two of them standardize the phytosanitary requirements for the export of table grapes and pig meat and derived products, including ham on the bone. These agreements will facilitate the penetration in the chinese market for agri-business Spanish, who already have a market share of 20% (390 billion in 2017) in the flesh of pork.
Also signed an agreement to eliminate double taxation and to prevent tax avoidance, an agreement on strengthening cooperation in third markets, the other on social security and the other on research of advanced materials. In the field of culture, it signed a protocol to expand the cultural centres, and an agreement to promote in China the platform of language services of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language. Next to the institutional arrangements there will be a dozen of agreements between companies in the financial (ICO and Bank Of China), energy (Abengoa), petrochemical (técnicas Reunidas) or airport (the ports of Algeciras and Ningbo-Zhoushan). There are agreements on tourism, visas, or airline communications, even though only 15% of the chinese tourism elite choose Spain, compared to 45% who opted for France, 39% in Italy and 23 per cent for Uk, according to the Madrid Business Forum (MFM), which denounces the “failure” of the policies to attract chinese tourists.