China’s new Silk Road encroaches on US turf in Eastern Europe

July 12, 2017

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In the 19th century mansion in central Belgrade where bureaucrats plan some of Serbia’s important overseas projects, 64-year-old Ivan Mrkic is busy unpacking boxes teeming with the books, research papers and maps he needs to become an instant expert on China.

Mrkic, a one-time Foreign Minister, anticipates investors from Hong Kong and Beijing will pour tens of millions of euros into eastern Europe and he wants Serbia — among the poorest — to be ready. For decades, US money has powered steel plants and carmakers in post-Communist Europe, but the region is now hanging its hopes on China stepping into the void created by Donald Trump’s isolationist turn.

Category: General