Where Europe meets China: The Balkan Silk Road

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Paolo Balmas explores the European Union’s increasing wariness of China’s huge programme for infrastructural development across Eurasia.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker’s warning in his recent State of the Union speech that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the European Union (EU) should be made “with transparency, scrutiny and debate” was directed mainly towards China and its aggressive acquisition strategy in Europe. Junker’s warning followed a call from German, French and Italian leaders this summer to find ways to “screen investments” from third parties and preceded an increasingly protectionist posture, which has led to the decision, on September 27, to issue an anti-dumping duty for Chinese-imported barium carbonate.

Concerns have been growing within the EU since 2013, when Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a huge programme for infrastructural development across Eurasia, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or the One Belt, One Road project. This project aims to develop a vast network of energy hubs and transport corridors by air, land and sea. In the meanwhile, Europe has become the top destination for Chinese FDI, accounting for 23% of the total in 2013. In 2016, the US exceeded the EU by just $2 billion ($48 billion versus $46 billion), according to Baker McKenzie…

Read more : Wort.lu, 10.10.2017