Foreign Policy Digital

How China Blew Its Chance in Eastern Europe

Seven years on, the 16+1 project has largely flopped.

When it was launched by China and 16 countries from Central and Eastern Europe in 2012, the 16+1 mechanism sparked hope throughout the region that it could close the investment gap. The figures being bandied about were huge in 2012. Then-Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced a $10 billion credit line for Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe. One year later, memoranda of understanding for Chinese investments in just one country—Romania—topped $10 billion (8.5 billion euros).

But seven years in, as participants gather for the annual , those hopes are already faded. China failed to make its intentions clear, failed to deliver on many of its promises, and failed to offer the assurances its partners needed. In turn, the European Union—which China’s role on the continent. The failure of the 16+1 may offer a vision of the future of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s grand geopolitical plan.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Foreign Policy Digital

Foreign Policy Digital4 min readPolitics
Chinese Film Studios Are Blacklisting Americans
The launch party for Over the Sea I Come to You, held at a five-star hotel in Beijing in mid-May, went off without a hitch. The new show, a big-budget production filmed in the United States about overseas Chinese students and starring the veteran act
Foreign Policy Digital6 min read
Modi’s Message Was Simple: Hindus First
On May 23, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won India’s general elections by a shockingly large margin. Out of 543 seats in parliament, sitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party won 303, far exceeding the 272 needed to form a government, while the
Foreign Policy Digital6 min read
Paramilitaries Are Surging Again in Northern Ireland
When the journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed last month in Northern Ireland’s Derry city, it seemed to confirm everyone’s worst fears. The Brexit deadline was fast approaching, and a group calling itself the New IRA (Irish Republican Army) clai