Every once in a while I joke that China has a spy high up in the EU making the EU do stupid stupid things … then I read these stories and I think I might be right.
British taxpayers have been forced to subsidise the very Chinese steel companies that are threatening 40,000 UK jobs, critics say.
It comes after revelations that the European Investment Bank has given so-called “soft loans” to China of £80million as part of a climate policy intended to lower emissions.
The astonishing figures include a loan of £40million to one of the world’s worst “steel dumping” culprits, the Wuhan Iron & Steel Corporation.
To add insult to injury Wuhun, the world’s eighth largest steel producer, boasts the Chinese state as its main shareholder. Wuhun is such a prolific steel dumper that it has now been especially targeted by the European Commission, which wants to slap it with 36.6 per cent tariffs.
Just five years ago, however, EU bankers decided to lend it €50million (£40million) to put towards a €207million (£167million) Euro Combined Cycle Plant.
The loan was paid out under the China Climate Change Framework Loan II. The money is supposed to persuade the steel giants to invest in lower emission technology.
Furious critics last night pointed out the irony that the loan was concerned with reducing the cost of power generation while one of the complaints of Tata Group is the high cost of energy associated with its steel production operation in South Wales.