Europe's energy transition impossible without China, Dutch Minister says
The European energy transition is not possible without China, warned Minister Liesje Schreinemacher for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in an interview with the British newspaper Financial Times. Europe is trying to become less dependent on China, but should not “disconnect” completely, said the Minister. “They are doing a lot on [research and development], and it would really be a shame if we decoupled fully from China.”
According to Schreinemacher, the Netherlands has a strong trade relationship with China. “We need each other when it comes to making our economies more sustainable and for the green transition.”
The G7, where the Netherlands sits at the table through the European Union, recently agreed to reduce the risks of their ties with China. They want to do so, for example, by getting more raw materials from other countries and developing clean tech sectors themselves.
According to Schreinemacher, “decreasing our strategic dependencies does not mean we should stop trade fully as long as we are diversifying our sources and diversifying our value chains.”
Schreinemacher also warned against the in-advance screening of investments in Chinese companies that are working on groundbreaking technologies. According to the Minister, that is a “very heavy instrument” to protect the economic interests of the country bloc. According to her, the Netherlands wants to know in advance “exactly what the goal is and how this can be implemented.”
Over the past decade, the Dutch economy has become increasingly intertwined with China’s. Chinese Minister Qin Qang said this week in a conversation with his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra that China wants to further deepen its economic relationship with the Netherlands. The Chinese Minister said that the Netherlands is China’s gateway to the EU.
Reporting by ANP