China’s influence in South America, Finland and Germany
US military officials highlight China’s aggressive expansion in South America and the Caribbean. The PRC is interfering with US interests in the region, amassing power and influence, disregarding international norms and imposing its authoritarianism. General Laura Richardson states, “China has increased its ability to seize resources, build ports and manipulate governments through predatory investment practices and building dual-use space facilities” [e.g. satellites – editor’s note].
According to the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT), Finland’s dependence on China is so strong that Finnish trading and electronics companies would suffer greatly from the disruption of supply chains from the Middle Kingdom. Finns import machinery, textiles, furniture and household goods from there. Almost ⅔ of laptops and almost 50 per cent of telephones come to Finland from China. According to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is necessary to investigate this situation and discuss the impact of China on Finland.
Young Chinese scholars and academics residing in Germany and receiving scholarships from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) are being repressed by their own state. A declaration binds them not to participate in any activities “detrimental” to China’s security, and the scholarship agreement requires regular reporting to the Chinese embassy. Anyone who violates these conditions is subject to disciplinary action. The main commitment of the young people is absolute loyalty to the Chinese state, which sees international student exchange as an important part of its global expansion strategy.