I'm reading (and trying to fully understand) this article here: https://www.lesechos.fr/finance-marches/ma/lexecutif-a-bloque-pour-la-premiere-fois-un-investissement-etranger-1277655

...le contrôle des investissements étrangers, dirigé jusque-là pour l'essentiel contre les velléités chinoises

According to the dictionary "velléité" means "vague desire" (Cambridge), "vague hope", "wish", "wishful thinking" (wordreference.com) and the like. Those translations don't seem the fit context in the article though so what's the author exactly saying here?

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    I think inclination conveys velléité here. fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/vell%C3%A9it%C3%A9 (Envie faible de faire quelque chose, hésitante et inefficace, pas forcément suivie d’un acte) – Dimitris Jan 27 at 9:35
  • As it was mentioned splitting your question it is very helpful. You have already two answers:-)! – Dimitris Jan 27 at 10:05

I think inclination/intention convey velléité here.

See the wiki lemma

Envie faible de faire quelque chose, hésitante et inefficace, pas forcément suivie d’un acte

See alo https://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/Vell%C3%A9it%C3%A9


This means that although what the Chinese want is not put in formal terms, not voiced in an explicit manner, but revealed through hints, either consciously or not so consciously formulated by the Chinese, their behaviour is still perceived by people in control of foreign investments as giving away certain desires, certain expectations, and those people shape their policy so as to counter these possible expectations.


The article is about government blocking a foreign investment in French company by an American company. This specific part is simply mentioning that this was actually a first occurrence of such a control, whereas this kind of control was mostly aimed at investments from China hitherto.

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