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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  December 3, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PST

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♪ host: let's get a round up of top stories on al jazeera. germany plans to ban unvaccinated people for much of public life to stop a fourth wave of covid-19 infections. the u.s. is blazing to the restrictions were international travelers as the omicron variance continues to spread. pres. biden: we are going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion, just like we be covid-19 -- beat back covid-19
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in the spring with the delta variant. we enter this winter with the position of strength compared to where america was last year. last year fewer than 1% of american adults were vaccinated. this christmas that number will be 72%, including 86% of seniors. host: the u.s. secretary of state antony blinken hazmat russian -- as met rush's foreign minister. lincoln says he remains concerned over what he calls marcia's aggressive policy toward ukraine. tensions remain high over russia's military buildup near the border with ukraine. at the biden administration's breaking former u.s. president's donald trump's controversial remain in mexico policy following a court order. it requires asylum-seekers to remain outside of the u.s. while they wait for their hearings.
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gaddafi was disqualified last week by the election campaign because he was convicted of war crimes but appealed. supporters of gaddafi gathered to celebrate the court's ruling after he was reinstated to run for president. the election as inquiries. at the united nations fears ethiopia could dissent into sectarian violence that can fracture the country. the un's humanitarian chief as warning its growing instability could see a repeat of the chaotic exit is from afghanistan in august. at the united nations as it needs a record $41 billion next year to meet global humanitarian needs. iran has submitted 2 draft proposals to european powers negotiating the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, the seventh round of talks to be held in vienna. those are the headlines. inside story is next. ♪
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♪ host: an attempt to rival try to's belt at a initiative, the eu unveils a major global infrastructure plan. the goal, to inve in develong countries and boost trad links with the rest of the world. why the interest now? can the bloc compete with beijing? this is inside story. ♪ hello and welcome to the program . it is being described as a roadmap for major investment and infrastructure worldwide, the
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european union's global gateway strategy is seen as a challenge to china's belt and road initiative. the plan, to raise $340 billion to finance infrastructure focused on health, digital employment projects in asia, africa, the middle east, and latin america. the eu is try to's biggest trading partner at the project would allow it to promote its you political influence. beijing as extended its own region since it launched its own initiative. the belt and road program was launched in 2013. it is urgent xi jinping's signature project to connect china to the rest of the world. beijing is interesting $800 billion in over 13,000 projects in 165 countries. in return china gets access to the raw materials it needs to
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fuel its growth. critics say the initiative is pushed many countries deeply into debt. the european commission president says the bloc will be a trusted partner and provide high-quality projects. >> we want to take a different approach. we want to show that a democratic, value driven approach can deliver on the most pressing challenges. we went to show it can on one hand meet local needs but also on the other hand tackle global challenges we have, and thus anyway benefit the european union. ♪ let's bring in our guests, the director of the african program at the carnegie endowment for international peace in washington d.c.
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in brussels, the deputy director general at business europe, and lobbying group representing businesses in europe, and victor is the vice president of the center for china and globalization. he joins us when beijing -- us from beijing. luisa, what is your reaction to the launch of the global gateway ? what are your impressions? >> good afternoon, everyone. it is positive. we see this as a strategic approach from europe, a new way of relationship from its main trading partners, but also with its neighbors, developing countries. it is also a way for europe to show it has an economic model
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that is an alternative to others that existed, including development road initiative. it is important for us because it includes a part from the public sector, and imported role for the private sector. the money we are talking about will come a lot from companies. companies need to believe in these projects, and from our perspective is a very good initiative and one that is long overdue. europe is already the largest donor in the world, the largest investor. what we are doing now is trying to have a more strategic approach anymore team europe approach, trying to prioritize defense initiatives and putting them under a common umbrella. host: that is the perspective from team europe. what are your thoughts about
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this proposal? from the business community in europe it seems to be only received? how do you think developing nations are going to view this potential source of investment? >> i think it is generally a welcome initiative. the european union and europe more broadly is thinking about infrastructure, investing in public services in developing countries. for a long time this has been a major priority for african countries that they were in need and still are in need of investment in infrastructure and public services to be able to power the economic transformation to converge with the rest of the world, to diversify their economies. in africa, is eight of the
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world's least diversified economy is dependent upon oil and gas and increase the incomes of people. this is certainly welcome, but i think there is also a lot of african countries in a wait and see mode. there are three things other people are looking up for. whether this initiative is going to respond to african priorities as defined by africans themselves around jobs and infrastructure, but also very recently around covid-19 vaccines, pharmaceuticals. the european union and many european countries have not supported the initiative of the world health organization to have a temporary ip waiver and technology around vaccine production, but also around
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financial loans which drain from africa, more than the continent receives it assistance whether this new initiative is going to build upon the comparative that europe has as measured pharmaceuticals and vaccines but also around technology and money transfer. the final thing is a lot of african countries are waiting to see is whether this initiative responds to african priorities in a way that does not force africa to engage in this new cold war phenomenon we see playing out the rest of the world. host: do you think the alternative to the initiatives proposed by the european union and also the u.s., the main alternative would be the chinese belt and road initiative. do you think that responds to african priorities?
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>> what has been a very interesting with chinese engagement in africa, which accelerated from around the: 2000 and which eventually became subsumed under the road initiative in 2013 is that the way china has approach this engagement is that they come with an explicit transaction that they would resources. at least at the beginning it was around obtaining natural resources, oil, minerals, timber, agricultural products to power try's own double-digit growth at the time. it was usually a very explicit transaction that chinese entities wanted these resources, and in exchange they were willing to invest in at least
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some of the priorities that african countries have identified around infrastructure. i will give you striking statistics, which were published about one week ago before the start of the africa-china cooperation. from 2000 over this 20 year period, it to help african countries build more than 30,000 kilometers of roads and railway, funded over 130 medical facilities, etc. host: at the same time, sorry to jump in, africa is getting quite a lot in terms of aid and trade from europe and the united states. i do want to bring in victor joining us from beijing. we have heard the european
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business is very keen to get involved in the game of bridging this infrastructure gap. this is something china has been doing with development road initiative since 2013. does china welcome this competition or is china intimidated they are no longer the lantern that countries will go to to get these big infrastructure projects done? >> first of all, if the global gateway is truly meant for building up connectivity and infrastructure in developing countries, including african countries, then the more the better. it is not a competition. it is very much welcome not only by china but by all the receiving countries. if you listen to the president's
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speech about the global gateway then you will need to worry about it, because i thought global gateway is not going to be the size -- politicized and used for ideological agenda. we will work on that and we hope it will be competition on equal terms rather than a political agenda or by politicizing such infrastructure and connectivity. we all know african countries suffered from colonialism for several hundred years and when the british colonies left africa, infrastructure was in shambles, and many african countries are not connected with each other, and they need to fly to european capitals for transit back to african capitals. it is a shame. build up connectivity in africa as well as in other parts of the world. from the chinese perspective we welcome genuine investments in
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infrastructure and connectivity. host: luisa, we have heard china welcomes the competition, but is wary of the political undertones of this. do you see political undertones in the global gateway initiative? >> no, i think it is clear the model is different than the chinese model. it is based on transparency, reciprocity, but definitely maybe these principles are not totally in line with what china wants. we have always been very clear, we have infrastructure in place that was built under development road initiative. i think it does not make sense to create parallel initiatives
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when we have infrastructure there. it makes sense that we create connections. if we do this and the mobile gateway with european money we need to do it with european rules, and these european rules based on sustainable development , the respective social rights, environmental rights and climate change, if we do under these conditions i do not see why we should not cooperate. it is very clear these conditions have to be met to make sure we can cooperate. let me come back to the african question. europe is the largest donor and investor in africa and around the world. we are just trying to use a new tool, a new instrument together all the resources that are already being invested by european companies and european
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governments and trying to bring in one umbrella with a common objective. this objective is to be win-win. we do not want this to be something that serves european industries, interests or only european companies. we want to cooperate with local governments and local business. host: i was interested in what you said there. bringing together existing projects, how much of this is going to be new money? the headline figure is 300 billion euros investment, but how much of this is actually new question mark actually new -- actually new? >> most of what will be new will
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be money brought by the private sector and some of the financial institutions that will be associated to the initiative, and there was also an important component, the idea will also be to bring a lot of national projects, because we have also development banks at the national level in some countries, and the idea is to bring this together. this is going to be the new part of what we see in terms of resources. the final financial envelope will depend a lot on the viability of the projects and if the projects are viable. it may it make sense from a business point of view, much more money will be gathered for the private sector as well. host: we have heard the ethos behind the wording of money for
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projects and someone will be very much based on europe's rules of transparency and so on and so forth. where is the incentive for countries to -- for the european model as opposed to the chinese model which may not have such stringent requirements? >> this is a very interesting point, and i think for a lot of african countries policymakers are in a wait and see mode right now. my colleague luisa mentioned europe is the largest donor to africa, which is actually true. i think the thing though is this is why the issue of african priorities is quite important. for a long time some african
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leaders have been saying what africa needs is not just donor funding, development assistance. that is good and needed an parts of the continent in war or serious crisis. what african countries need is meaningful, economic engagement. it is a local initiative -- welcome initiative, and if we can make that development assistance europe provides better respond to these parities around job creation, the provision of infrastructure, that is really going to work. the final thing i will mention on this point, this issue of trying to crowd in private investment, i think a lot of work left to go into that, because traditionally the private sector tends to be quite edited and to engage and invest in africa because of the
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perception of risk. whether this european initiative can help the risk, african markets can help prepare a pipeline of projects with private sector to invest in. that might be a key determiner. all of us will wait and see how this will happen. host: speaking of risk, victor, over the last eight years or so the belt and road situation has been midway china has taken on a significant level of risk with investments it is made. does china see that risk is paying off, because there are countries you are struggle to pay back, the debts and sums of money they have taken on in terms of chinese finance. how does china view that?
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>> i think you are raising a very important question. from the chinese perspective we have several conclusions. cooperation with african countries should not just -- be just based on total resistance because that will not help to build up national capacity and many african countries. if you put it in commercial terms and commercial structure then it will not work, because many of the companies will find the investment terms too long, too occult, profitability too slow, and they will not be committed to many of these projects, especially infrastructure projects. you need to innovate to come up with a model to make sure you really contribute to connectivity and structure. host: i'm not just thinking of
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africa, i am also thinking of the railway projects in low -- lao, the ports in sri lanka we are china and said some of those significant debts paid off by 100 year long leases in the country selling off the family jewels in order to service those debts. does tenant recognize that its lending practices need to change so much? >> first of all, loans are always an important part of the financing package of most of infrastructure and connectivity projects, so do not single out a loan as if that is illegal. do you know who borrows most of the money from china? it is the united states government. you need to come up with a
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viable commercial structure to make sure the infrastructure projects will be done. host: let's take that risk and see how it applies back to the global gateway initiative. luisa, we have highlighted the fact that private companies are going to be a big part of this project. how do you think being under this umbrella is going to incentivize more countries to start reinvesting in developing nations. -- nations? . >> the part of mitigating risk is important, especially if you want to convince more small and medium-size companies to also be part of this project. we know that in certain regions of the world, including in europe, smes are an important
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partner from an economic point of view. the project of the global gateway foresees the exportation credit. hopefully there will be a mitigation of the risk, and also the fact that we are -- and that is one of the objectives that is very important -- we really prioritize projects and we really look at projects that have a strategic risk in terms of development and economic development. i think this will be ways and tools to mitigate the risk, and coming back again to the importance of having economic development, i think the eu recognizes that development is not enough and is not leading to sustainable growth, so we need
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to change the parity. host: we are almost out of time, so i will leave the last words to you. i understand it is a wait and see to have this project is going to unfold, but who do you think at this stage is likely to benefit most from this new global gateway? >> i think nothing is cast in stone. a lot depends upon the approach and how european countries make this work on the ground and in reality. a lot depends upon the extent to which this global gateway initiative is actually informed by the needs and priorities of these developing countries, in
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the case of africa, creating jobs for the 15 million people joining the labor market every single year. closing the infrastructure-financing cap -- gap, and very important in providing financing for adaptation to climate change to the tune of around $15 billion will respond to these needs that and identifies and prioritizes the needs of african countries will determine how this goes, and the ability of african countries themselves to put their own needs on the agenda. host: i am afraid we are out of time, but thank you to all of our guests. thank you too for watching. you can see the program again at any time by visiting our
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website, al jazeera.com. for further discussion had to our facebook page -- head to our facebook page. you can also join the conversation on twitter. for me and the whole team, it is bye for now. ♪ ççççññwewe
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