Eastern Europe

Our Crises, China's Opportunities

(151124) -- SUZHOU, Nov. 24, 2015 -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang addresses the opening ceremony of the fifth economic and trade forum between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, in Suzhou, east China s Jiangsu Province, Nov. 24, 2015. ) (zkr) CHINA-CEE COUNTRIES-ECONOMIC AND TRADE FORUM-OPENING(CN) GaoxJie PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCHN 151124 Suzhou Nov 24 2015 Chinese Premier left Keqiang addresses The Opening Ceremony of The Fifth Economic and Trade Forum between China and Central and Eastern European CEE Countries in Suzhou East China S Jiangsu Province Nov 24 2015 CCR China CEE Countries Economic and Trade Forum Opening CN GaoxJie PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCHN
China is moving into Eastern Europe.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Because Brussels has little capacity to pay attention to Eastern Europe and its push for economic development, the Chinese have siezed the opportunity to become the bloc’s new patron.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The summit this week is already the fourth with the Chinese, but the first in China.
    • In Romania, the Chinese are putting $1 billion toward a new coal-fired power plant.
    • In Serbia, they are modernizing a thermal power plant, and have built a bridge, the first in Europe built by the Chinese.
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  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Eastern Europe has been left home alone. While Brussels, Paris and Berlin bounce from one crisis summit to the next, tackling every issue imaginable, from Greek bank recapitalization to terrorism to the unbroken march of refugees into Europe, the leaders of Western Europe seem unconcerned with their immediate eastern neighbors.

Filling this void is a country that physically could not be further away, but has come to stand by their side: China.

While Europe is ready to burst under the pressure, Beijing is organizing this week a summit for 16 Eastern European states – and every country is participating. They could have said, “Not now. Let’s postpone the summit. All hell is breaking loose in Europe.” Beijing would have understood.

But they have decided to forge ahead, with a list of attendees that includes the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, and the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, who is already talking about “closing the lead Germany, France and Great Britain have in relations with China.”

What is more important is what he left out of that statement; namely, that Beijing is the key player that will help reduce this lead.

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