China’s push towards Europe through Piraeus boosts infrastructure and tensions

Former Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras (R) and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (2-R), inaugurated a new container transport line at the port of Piraeus, where Chinese shipping giant COSCO controls two of the three terminals (photo: dpa)
Former Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras (R) and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (2-R), inaugurated a new container transport line at the port of Piraeus, where Chinese shipping giant COSCO controls two of the three terminals (photo: dpa)

Beijing’s investment outflows are growing fast, and Europe is one of the main beneficiaries of this trend. By mid-2015, China had invested more than US$60 billion in shares of European companies, passing Japan to become the fourth-largest investor in the ‘Old Continent.’ Since 2014, Chinese investments have targeted Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, which have received almost US$7 billion, concentrated in sectors such as energy and infrastructure.

The Balkan Peninsula, including the Greek port of Piraeus at its southern end, is now the new frontier for Chinese outbound direct investment. In the coming weeks, China will start building a high-speed railway connecting Budape...

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