EU views Chinese engagement in the Balkans with growing concern
EU views Chinese engagement in the Balkans with growing concern
Author: CSEBA / SEEbiz
30th November 2018
VIENNA - The European Union views China's ongoing engagement in the Balkans with growing concern. For a long time, China had been able to present itself as a state that purportedly pursued business interests with its investments.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said this on Thursday evening at the 12th European Media Summit in Lech, Austria.

"The opposite is the case," said Hahn. China wants to make its model acceptable in Europe.

Basically, it is about the choice between dictatorship and democracy, between social market economy and turbo-capitalism. In the case of the Balkans, the Union must accept the challenge of China with adequate answers.

"We need to scrutinize the acquisition of potentially strategic companies by the Chinese," Hahn said.

Chinese money is used to build power plants, highways and bridges in the six countries of the Western Balkans.

Hahn once again pleaded for a significant increase in the Union's ability to act, especially in foreign policy issues, by breaking up the principle of unanimity in favor of majority voting.

"This is the basic requirement for global competitiveness," said EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy.

He spends at least a third of his time convincing one or at most two countries of the will of the remaining 26 or 27 countries.

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