Difficult European Trek for China’s Bel…

China’s march into Europe with its massive Belt and Road Initiative has been far from smooth, in contrast to its path in Africa and Asia. In fact, it increasingly appears that the BRI, as the initiative is known, has failed to gain any traction. Instead of the warm welcome issued by Asian leaders, Europe is in the middle of restricting China’s advances. Germany, France and Italy have set in motion new ways to prevent a proverbial ‘Chinese takeover’ of Europe, raising fears that could thus break up the EU. There is ample reason to be concerned, if the experience in Southeast Asia is any example, where Chinese investment and aid have resulted in neutering the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Cambodia and the Philippines, the beneficiaries of major amounts of funds, have chosen to thwart western attempts led by the United States to keep the South China Sea from turning into a Chinese lake.

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