On July 24th, French Economics Minister Michel Sapin and Governor of the Banque de France François Villeroy de Galhau gave a press conference in the context of the preparations for the G20, in which they gave full approval of China’s New Silk Road.
“Fifteen years ago, France was the first European country to open a strategic dialogue with China. In that dialogue, we explored several questions and created a solid basis for trust. Many exchanges, especially on political, economic and cultural questions, were carried out. In the economic domain we have constructive cooperation in sectors such as nuclear energy and other energy sources, as well as aviation. ‘With its New Silk Road, China is opening today a new historic opportunity,’ stated Central Bank Governnor François Villeroy de Galhau. He mentioned new opportunities of cooperation between China and the Western countries in terms of railway and highway infrastructure. He noted France’s enthusiasm for this initiative, and the positive effect it will have on the process of globalization in China. France must seize the new opportunities of cooperation opened by that process, he said and underlined in particular the development possibilities between France and the Szechuan province, and the fact that Chengdu is one of the crucial cities for the new Silk Road. Chengdu is already connected by a direct flight to France and by railroad to Europe. Fields of cooperation already exist in the areas of health, services to seniors, pharmaceutical research, agricultural goods, and safety in food products.”
Strong nuclear cooperation has long existed between France and China: the French built the Chinese nuclear program and proceeded to engage in technology transfer in exchange for joint development of the Chinese international market and for joint interventions into third markets, as attested by the joint EDF/China deal to build two EPR’s in Great Britain. Other such areas of collaboration exists in anti-pollution programs in water, air and soil, etc.
This cooperation, however, is one of big deals between France and China in high technology of the very large CAC 40 companies, which often have no impact on the French economy because the companies have been outsourced and no longer pay taxes in France. This is not exactly our idea of the New Silk Road policy, which is that Europe needs to go back to the Franklin Roosevelt, and today rather LaRouche policies, which generated the European miracle of the postwar reconstruction, the very same policies that allowed China to develop massively in the last three decades.