The pandemic has severely exposed the bloc’s dependence on Chinese suppliers for essential medical supplies, such as drugs, masks, gloves and respirators. “One of the emerging elements of this current crisis is our dependence on foreign powers – namely China – for the main medicines and supplies,” said Jacob in a joint interview with RTL radio, the Le Figaro newspaper and LCI television.
Some European member states are already pursuing policies to reduce their dependence on Beijing and control predatory investment, defensive measures that could hurt Sino-European trade by nearly $ 750 billion last year.
Without explicitly mentioning China, EU trade ministers agreed two weeks ago on the importance of diversification to “reduce dependence on individual supplying countries”.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire issued a similar warning earlier this month, saying there would be “one” before “and one” after “the coronavirus [outbreak] in the global economy. “
“We must reduce our dependence on a few major powers, in particular China, for the supply of certain products” and “strengthen our sovereignty in strategic value chains” such as cars, aerospace and medicines , he said on France Inter radio.
China has been the subject of criticism abroad – notably in the United States – about the epidemic which first appeared in the central city of Wuhan at the end of last year, but which ‘she has since canceled.
His haste to send aid to hard-hit countries has been widely criticized as an effort to divert blame from the deadly pandemic.
Nearly three million people have tested positive for the new coronavirus worldwide and more than 200,000 have died, according to an AFP count released on Sunday, with well over half of the deaths recorded in Europe.
However, the daily toll in Western countries seems to be stabilizing and even decreasing, although many fear a second wave of infections once the traffic restrictions are lifted.
The government is planning the slow and gradual unfolding of their strict restrictions against the epidemic.
But they are also aware of the risk of a resurgence amid warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) that recovered people may not be immune to reinfection.
Some governments are considering distributing “immunity passports” as a way to revive economic activity and ease the brakes on movement after weeks of closings that have crippled the world economy.
But the WHO has advised against issuing such passports, saying that people who survive the virus cannot be sure they will not be reinfected.
“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from # COVID19 and who have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the WHO said in a statement.
Before adding: “People who assume they are immune to a second infection because they received a positive test result can ignore public health advice.”