The Netherlands Unveils Strategy to Tackle China’s ‘Unfair Trading Practices’

(Bloomberg) -- The Netherlands seeks to address “unfair trading practices” by China while adopting a position on the Asian nation which is both “constructive and critical,” according to a presentation documenting the country’s so-called China strategy.

The Dutch aim to protect intellectual property and prevent unwanted technology transfers, according to documents presented by the country’s foreign ministry on Wednesday. “When it comes to certain key technologies and critical raw materials, we do not want to become dependent on China.”

Faced with lawmakers’ worries about the Asian nation’s growing influence in the world -- and the potential ramifications for the Netherlands -- Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government a year ago pledged to present a strategy. Members of Dutch Parliament had argued the approach by the Netherlands and the European Union isn’t sufficiently clear, and have stressed the need for a clear and future-proof strategy.

“The Netherlands cannot achieve its goals alone,” according to today’s documents. “Our preference is to act in concert with the EU. We also rely on our like-minded partners in North America, Asia and Oceania.”

The Dutch strategy comes at a time when an escalating China-U.S. trade war is rattling global markets, while U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is simultaneously seeking to leverage its power in Europe by pushing countries on the continent to ban equipment from Chinese telecom companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. for their respective fifth-generation mobile networks.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.