China steps up plan for new export corridor into Europe

Chinese Prime minister Li Keqiang attends the opening ceremony of the Economic and Trade forum between China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Belgrade on December 16, 2014Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met central and eastern European leaders Tuesday in a summit to cement Beijing’s plans for a new transport network to funnel exports into Europe. The two-day meeting in Belgrade gathering prime ministers from 16 states had infrastructure and transport top of the agenda. Beijing hopes to turn the Greek port of Piraeus — where the Chinese shipping giant Cosco has a 35-year concession to hugely expand its two container terminals — into a new hub for trade with Europe. Despite being hit hard by the economic crisis, Greece still has the world’s largest merchant marine fleet, with China one of its key customers.

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