China's spreading influence in Eastern Europe worries West - InfoNews

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China's spreading influence in Eastern Europe worries West

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2017, file photo, a worker walks on the site of the reconstruction of a railway line between Budapest and Belgrade, a project financed mainly by China, as a "flagship project" of China's increased presence in the region, in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Chinese investments have been booming throughout Central and Eastern Europe's cash-strapped developing countries, even as European Union officials scramble to counter Beijing's mounting economic and political influence the EU has branded a ''systematic rival.'' (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)
April 10, 2019 - 6:17 PM

BELGRADE, Serbia - Construction of infrastructure such as power plants, mobile networks and bridges is booming throughout cash-strapped countries in central and eastern Europe thanks to Chinese funding, which has the European Union scrambling to counter Beijing's mounting influence.

Croatia is hosting a summit on Thursday for 16 European countries with developing economies and China. The gathering in Dubrovnik focuses on expanding business and other links between China and a region it sees as a gateway to Europe.

The countries that endorsed China's global "Belt and Road" initiative already have seen billions of dollars in investments. Eleven are EU members.

Western leaders worry economic weight could give China political muscle in the region, and about projects funded with Chinese investments adhering to lower environmental and other standards than the EU's.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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