On Net Balance, EU Joining BRI Would be Beneficial
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A trickier version of the "EU should join BRI" debate. Pro will argue that benefits outweigh harms if EU chooses to join the BRI. Con argues harm outweighs benefits.
Burden of Proof is shared.
Beneficial for who? The general public. The world. Beneficial in what way? We will argue what impacts are the most important and why they matter.
Explanation: With the original premise, there's many problems that EU fails to resolve by joining BRI. However, this premise assumes a world where EU joins regardless, and does not care about non-unique harms (Ex: Uighers being oppressed either way) and thus may be trickier to argue for Con.
- Ethical clauses, including ecological which is responsibility to environment, simply cannot work in unison with a blatantly violating nation like China.
- The whole point if EU is to cement Europe as a power that can stand up to the likes of China (which wants to rule the world as an Imperialist force). Joining the BRI is either a step in the wrong direction or is entirely superficial, meaning it is nearly impossible to benefit either side.
Beijing makes no secret of its secrecy. While the government has become much less controlling than it used to be, information that doesn’t suit Beijing’s larger purposes still gets withheld, while information that doesn’t quite suit its purposes is often polished until it does. Only last month, an op-ed in the state-run newspaper Beijing Daily exposed local reporters displaying a shameful inclination towards balanced journalism. “Chinese media interested in negative news have been seduced into wrongdoing by Western concepts,” it fumed.
China’s sensitivity about its control of the bad-news agenda was highlighted once again this week when Beijing publicly chided the U.S. embassy for measuring Beijing’s sometimes “crazy bad” air pollution and publishing the data on Twitter. The damage is limited: although many expats and web savvy Chinese can still access it, Twitter is blocked in China. Nonetheless, the U.S. embassy smog readings are embarrassing for the Chinese government, whose own pollution measures tend to be much more favourable.
But pollution is just one of the items on the propaganda hit list. Anything that might shed some light on policy failures, social ills, or even the personalities of the country’s leaders is liable to be altered or suppressed. Here, then, are six of Beijing’s bad-news taboos.
Four individuals have recently been charged with visa fraud in connection with a scheme to lie about their status as members of the People’s Republic of China’s military forces, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), while in the United States conducting research. Three of these individuals have been arrested and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking the fourth who is a fugitive from justice currently being harbored at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.
In addition to these arrests, the FBI has recently conducted additional interviews of visa holders suspected of having undeclared affiliation with the Chinese military in more than 25 American cities.
“These members of China’s People Liberation Army applied for research visas while hiding their true affiliation with the PLA,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “This is another part of the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to take advantage of our open society and exploit academic institutions. We will continue to conduct this investigation together with the FBI.”
“The United States welcomes students, academics, and researchers from across the globe. Today’s announcement shows the extreme lengths to which the Chinese government has gone to infiltrate and exploit America’s benevolence," said John Brown, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI's National Security Branch. “In interviews with members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in over 25 cities across the U.S., the FBI uncovered a concerted effort to hide their true affiliation to take advantage of the United States and the American people.”
Each defendant has been charged with visa fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a). If convicted, each faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The allegations against each are as follows:
The Government of China is engaged in espionage overseas, directed through diverse methods via the Ministry of State Security, the United Front Work Department, and People's Liberation Army as well as their numerous front organizations and state-owned enterprises. It is employs a variety of tactics including cyber spying to gain access to sensitive information remotely, signals intelligence, and human intelligence. China is also engaged in industrial espionage aimed at gathering information to bolster its economy, as well as monitoring dissidents abroad such as supporters of the Tibetan independence movement and Uyghurs as well as the Taiwan independence movement, the Hong Kong independence movement, Falun Gong, pro-democracy activists, and other critics of the Chinese Communist Party.[
- "Decoding MSS: Ministry of State Security – China". Asian Warrior. 5 September 2016. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- ^ Drohan, Brig. Gen. USAF, Ret., Dr. Thomas A. (14 October 2019). "China's All-Effects All-Domain Strategy in an All-Encompassing Information Environment". Small Wars Journal. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Perlroth, Nicole; Conger, Kate; Mozur, Paul (22 October 2019). "China Sharpens Hacking to Hound Its Minorities, Far and Wide". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
The original Silk Road arose during the westward expansion of China’s Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), which forged trade networks throughout what are today the Central Asian countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as modern-day India and Pakistan to the south. Those routes extended more than four thousand miles to Europe.Central Asia was thus the epicenter of one of the first waves of globalization, connecting eastern and western markets, spurring immense wealth, and intermixing cultural and religious traditions. Valuable Chinese silk, spices, jade, and other goods moved west while China received gold and other precious metals, ivory, and glass products. Use of the route peaked during the first millennium, under the leadership of first the Roman and then Byzantine Empires, and the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) in China.But the Crusades, as well as advances by the Mongols in Central Asia, dampened trade, and today Central Asian countries are economically isolated from each other, with intra-regional trade making up just 6.2 percent of all cross-border commerce. They are also heavily dependent on Russia, particularly for remittances—they make up one-third of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. By 2018, remittances had dipped from their 2013 highs due to Russia’s economic woes.
The European Union is committed to supporting democracy and human rights in its external relations, in accordance with its founding principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. The EU seeks to mainstream human rights concerns into all its policies and programmes and has different human rights policy instruments for specific actions — including financing specific projects through its financing instruments.
- "Aggregate results suggest that BRI infrastructure improvements could increase total trade among BRI economies by 4.1 percent. Countries such as Uzbekistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Oman and Maldives benefit the most after improvements in trading times, with an increase in their exports above 9 percent" .
- Of course, these are big numbers. Even Iran alone is 105 million dollars in exports alone , not to mention that this amount is multiplied greatly by each additional country benefitted. If this wasn't enough, improving the roads and railways will also greatly reduce trade costs.
- As Voxeu explains, "implementing all BRI transport infrastructure projects will reduce aggregate trade costs for the BRI economies by 2.8% on average with the rest of the world, and by 3.5% with other BRI economies" . The large trade reductions overall would be worth the cost of the BRI, exceeding it by billions in the long run.
- And on the bigger picture, the global boost of trade by 6.5% will lift 32 million people out of poverty. 
As Fortune.com notes, "Finance Secretary of the Philippines Carlos Dominguez publicly stated that debts owed to China accounts for only 0.65% of the country’s total debt. And Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Beijing, dismissed the idea of “debt-trap diplomacy.”"  Indeed, nearly no country has actually been stuck in a debt trap due to the BRI. In fact, they have benefited for the most part, with China upgrading the transportation of Kenya as an example.Energy InfrastructureThe BRI is not only a trading project, it is also an energy related project. Cornell from the Atlantic Council explains that at least 200 million jobs would be created from the project due to surge of electricity grids . Not only so, the project will be environmentally conservative, with "President Xi propos[ing] to establish “a global energy network” to meet global power demand “with clean and green sources." . Adding on the EU will allow the operation to be controlled by multiple countries, enforcing new technology that would save our ecosystems and our people alike. This is especially important in the area where China is building the BRI. As they proceed towards Europe, they will also assist developing countries. As a result, "in poor rural environments, the expansion of power grids is also important for addressing energy access, with its multiplier effects on development and the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) services for economic connectivity" .Internet AccessAs of now, still 41% of the world has no access to internet, despite it being the pillar of information and connection -- perhaps even an essential right.  But BRI will fix this by allowing building of 5G internet through rail lines. As wired explains, "each of the many trans-Eurasian rail lines that are part of this mammoth project will be accompanied by fiber-optic cables carrying impossibly huge amounts of data across thousands of miles without delay". The impact is significant: a vast proportion of countries would have access to this internet. Doctors and researchers alike could instantly access information and quickly upload files to work together and improve other areas of science. Not only so, the internet innately boosts the productivity and connectivity of people.As Brookings Institute found, "a 10 percent increase in Internet penetration in a foreign country is associated with a 1.7 percent increase in exports and a 1.1 percent increase in imports" . And the investment of internet will empower the countries to export and import even more, fueling a cycle of economic boost. The logic behind this makes sense too. Trading must be conducted with processes and controls. The transaction will be expedited with the addition of the internet. AmericanExpress explains, "With 5G IoT and blockchain, a digital bill of lading could automatically transfer to the buyer when a ship reaches port, with the seller automatically receiving the purchase price" .With EU joining in on China with the boost of internet, there is no doubt that the greatest invention of the last century will significantly change developing countries' progress.Health CareOne researcher supports that the BRI will greatly help the public health sector, boosting the developing countries in terms of medical care. "China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers immense opportunities for partnership and collective actions involving multiple countries to combat globalization-linked infectious and/or chronic diseases, emerging pandemics, and outbreaks of potential threats to both laboratory information management systems and health information management. " 
As another expert notes, "existing data set showed the positive responses of local Pakistani citizens toward CPEC projects. The findings of this study will help government officials and the representatives of the CPEC understand the attitudes of the host community and their cooperation for the development of CPEC projects."  This links back to the connection of international pressure and cooperation. If China is doing poorly then the other countries may prevent funds or progress any time. China is not the master here. It is only one of the guiding forces to boost forward the citizens' ideals. And in terms of democracy and freedom, what could be more important than what the people desire as a whole? Is it not beneficial to release citizens of their economic despair?