A Romanian government agency has unveiled a memorandum that will prohibit Chinese companies from being involved in any way with internal infrastructure projects in the country, according to Breitbart.
The new policy was announced by the Ministry of Transport, which said that Chinese companies were artificially altering the infrastructure market by offering lower prices due to their direct ties to the Chinese government, thus being unfairly cheaper than most of their domestic competitors. It also cited such companies’ failures to adhere to basic workers’ rights, including those required by the European Union.
The memorandum is not yet law, but if it does ultimately take effect, it would affect all current and future projects that are already contracted to Chinese companies, which would lose billions of euros as a result. The multiple contracts already issued to Chinese companies are part of the Chinese government’s ongoing Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to expand the country’s influence in eastern Europe through such domestic projects.
In addition to offering their services at lower rates than their competitors, and potentially indebting such host countries if the deals fall through, Chinese companies have also been known to import Chinese workers to do most of the jobs, thus depriving the host country’s citizens of the chance to work.
In response to the decision, the Chinese-controlled propaganda outlet Belt and Road News called the new policy a result of Romania being “pro-American,” even though there is no mention in the memorandum of American companies receiving special treatment or any other kind of treatment.