China in the Balkans: Invasion of the Voleex?

Discussion in 'China' started by cir, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    By Ky Krauthamer

    February 18th, 2012

    When pollsters asked Serbs to name the countries most friendly toward Serbia, the top three were Russia, Greece – staunch friends since the end of Yugoslavia both – and China. China? True, the Chinese were among Serbia’s loudest supporters during the Milosevic period and like Russia and Greece have not recognized Kosovo’s independence. But could China’s increasing economic presence in Serbia have something to do with it?

    Is China’s growing economic clout across Southeastern Europe (leaving aside the rest of the continent) something to arouse concern? Two reports I’ve read recently go into these questions, asking how the presence of this rising economic force, eager for new export markets and new sources of the raw materials its manufacturers need, will transform a market where for the United States is an ever-less dominant, player.

    The author of one report says there are reasons for concern. As the Balkan countries increasingly look to China to invest in much-needed infrastructure projects, shopping centers, etc., a situation could develop where Beijing “can directly influence state policies in Southeastern Europe,” the report for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies warns. Authored by Loïc Poulain, a research intern at the center, the report notes that China still lacks close ties to regional countries beyond Greece and Serbia, but foresees the possibility of a “regionwide movement appealing for deeper economic and political cooperation” with China that could “create a relation of dependency with countries expected to join the EU within the next 10 to 15 years.” That seems to overstate things a bit – unless, as seems far from unlikely, EU membership becomes an ever-more distant dream for countries like Albania, Bosnia, and Macedonia.

    The fact is, however, that China has been seeking new investments in the region, especially in Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Here are some of its recent ventures:

    Great Wall Motors plans to open a Bulgarian plant this month, Europe’s first assembly plant for Chinese cars, such as the Voleex pictured above. (Where do they come up with these names?)

    Guangdong Nuclear Power Group said in October it might enter a project to build two new reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania.

    China National Nuclear Corporation last year was reported to be interested in helping build a new unit at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear plant.

    A consortium of Chinese companies signed an agreement with Serbia’s EPS power utility for a package of investments worth more than 2 billion euros.

    A Chinese company is building a 1,500-meter bridge over the Danube near Belgrade. One story says the bridge will be called “Friendship Bridge,” another refers to it as “China Bridge.”

    The Chinese may have in mind that bridges can have great symbolic significance. Recall NATO’s destruction of most of Serbia’s Danube bridges, as “military” targets, during the Kosovo war.

    A bit closer to the EU heartland, Hungary has also been angling for Chinese trade and investment, as a policy brief from the European Council on Foreign Relations points out. As Europe continues to reel from the effects of the financial crisis and recession, and number highly indebted countries in the south are “increasingly desperate for Chinese investment,” argues the report with a telling title, “The Scramble for Europe.” “[T]he need for cash now takes precedence over their concern for their labour-intensive industries,” it goes on. “Meanwhile, Central and Eastern European member states such as Bulgaria and Hungary, which were already vying for Chinese investment, are now seeing European flows of investment drying up and are thus increasingly dependent on China.”

    For an instance of how keen Hungary is to attract Chinese investment, take a look at the fascinating remarks the country’s conservative-statist premier Viktor Orban delivered at a June economic forum in Budapest. Orban practically kowtowed to the Chinese guests of honor. (Switch to the English version and scroll down to 27 June.) Careful to give the communist-statist country its full name, Orban praised the People’s Republic as first among the world’s economic champions of today. Why? Because China has stayed loyal to “a few principles, which we here in the West have turned our backs on in recent times.” For instance, the principle that “we cannot continuously consume more than what we produce. Or that the basic building block of the economy is value created by work.” The West once knew this but has forgotten. “It is enough to recall that the words ‘sin’ and ‘debt’ in the original text of the Lord’s Prayer were still synonymous with each other.” An odd way to praise the delegation from an officially atheist country, but there you go.

    The ECFR report is not immune from the kinds of stark warnings Poulain delivers. Beijing has concentrated its efforts in Europe on the debt-strapped southern EU countries and the even poorer EU aspirants in the Balkans: “From a European perspective, it may seem as if the Chinese are exploiting Europe’s soft underbelly. The danger for Europe is that there will be a kind of ‘China lobby’ of smaller member states within the EU,” the authors say.

    All this needs to be kept in perspective. Chinese investment and trade in Southeastern Europe is well below its levels of involvement in Western Europe. As Poulain notes, China’s bilateral trade in 2010 with Romania and Bulgaria together, with a combined population of 30 million, amounted to some 3.2 billion euros, while 7-million-person Austria registered 8.2 billion euros in two-way trade with China.

    And the fact is that countries outside the EU, like Serbia, and some inside the union, need more investment in infrastructure than the EU can provide. Is it any wonder they are looking to China?

    East of Center » Blog Archive » China in the Balkans: Invasion of the Voleex?
     
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  3. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    17.02.2012

    Lukashenko invites China to build new power generating unit in Minsk

    MINSK OBLAST, 17 February (BelTA) – China could build a new power generating unit in Minsk, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told representatives of the China National Corporation for Overseas Economic Cooperation (CCOEC) as he visited Minsk cogeneration plant No. 5 on 17 February.

    “If you fulfill the conditions, and they are feasible for you, we will get down to implementation,” Alexander Lukashenko told top CCOEC executives. The Chinese corporation is involved in three ongoing investment projects in the power engineering industry. “Let’s plan another construction like that. Let’s invest money in real projects instead of giving money to Europe without any knowledge whether you can return the money,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

    “We are about to build a new power generating unit on the conditions Vladimir Semashko has mentioned,” the President summarized. “It is my gratitude to the Chinese leader,” he added.

    First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko said, at present three investment projects involving a total of $823.1 million in Chinese credit resources are in progress. Besides, the complex construction of a steam gas power generating unit at Minsk cogeneration plant No. 5 has been completed. “The Chinese side has made the suggestion and we are ready to build a fourth power generating unit in Minsk, in the Krasny Bor area where the demand for heating energy is high,” said the official. Vladimir Semashko explained that it will be a combined unit that will generate both electrical and heating energy.

    Vladimir Semashko remarked it is possible to reach the contract signing stage by the end of 2012. “If our proposals are accepted, it is feasible to start building the power generating unit in 2013,” he said.

    News -The national legal Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus.
     
  4. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    France, China to bid for SA reactors

    Feb 16 2012 17:17 Reuters

    Paris - French utility EDF said it plans to bid for a contract to build nuclear reactors in South Africa in a possible Franco-Chinese partnership.

    EDF’s nuclear business helped it to post higher 2011 earnings on Thursday, offsetting lower hydroelectric power generation.

    The group kept its profit growth forecasts despite higher costs to fund safety improvements at the 58 nuclear reactors it runs in France, recommended following the Fukushima disaster.

    While some countries such as Germany have turned their backs on nuclear energy since Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami, South Africa is pressing ahead with plans to add 9 600 megawatts of capacity, with a tender expected by June.

    “We are in a position to either offer a fully French technology, such as the EPR (next generation nuclear reactor), or a Franco-Chinese technology in partnership with Areva and CGNPC (China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp),” chief executive Henri Proglio told Reuters.

    France’s nuclear policy council last year decided to set up a partnership with China to build a new type of nuclear reactor, though it has been subject to criticism due to fears France would transfer its know-how and lose its competitive edge.

    The reactor could be cheaper, however, and the project could benefit from China’s experience as the world’s biggest builder of nuclear reactors. The French EPR reactor has been plagued by cost overruns and delays.

    EDF was told by South Africa to bid along with the Chinese, said Herve Machenaud, head of EDF’s production and engineering.

    The Franco-Chinese solution would involve the world’s biggest maker of nuclear reactors Areva and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC), though the technology has yet to be finalised, Proglio said.

    EDF posted a 4.7% rise in 2011 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to €14.82bn ($19.37bn) on sales up 2.2% at €65.31bn.

    The group kept its forecast for annual average core earnings growth of 4% to 6% at constant exchange rates and an average annual net profit rise of 5% to 10% in the period from 2011 to 2015.

    EDF first gave its growth goals last July, when it announced plans to expand its energy portfolio and raise its power output capacity to 200 gigawatts in 2020 from 150 gigawatts.

    Recurring net income grew 13.4% to €3.52bn last year, EDF said, despite volatile international energy markets and difficult macroeconomic conditions.

    “2011 results look solid, in particular at the net income level,” a London-based analyst said. “For 2012 we also see scope for some downward revision of estimates, in particular if a tariff rise of 2% is not secured in August 2012.”

    EDF shares fell 1.8% to €18.34 as uncertainty over government electricity tariff plans and the outcome of France’s May presidential elections weighed. The utilities index fell 0.67%.

    Nuclear output

    In France, nuclear output in 2011 was 421.1 terawatts/hour (TWh), exceeding EDF’s raised target of 415-420 TWh as EDF made better use of its nuclear generation capacity.

    French nuclear output should reach 420-425 TWh this year, EDF said, taking into account component replacements and outages related to safety checks following Fukushima.

    France’s ASN nuclear watchdog has said the country must invest billions of euros to improve the safety systems of its nuclear facilities to withstand the kind of extreme shocks that triggered Fukushima.

    EDF has said it would cost close to €50bn over the next 30 years to prolong the lifespan of 19 of its nuclear power plants from 40 to 60 years.

    EDF has turned itself into a global utility with ventures in Eastern Europe, the United States and the UK. But it is still highly dependent on the French market for profit.

    The future of nuclear energy in France has featured prominently in political debates ahead of the country’s elections. Proglio declined to comment on the possible consequences of the election result.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right government is advocating the extension of the lifespan of France’s reactors to 60 years, but Socialist candidate Francois Hollande wants to cut the share of nuclear energy to 50% from 75% by 2025. He also wants to shut France’s oldest nuclear plant at Fessenheim.

    EDF is diversifying its nuclear-dominated portfolio by boosting its businesses in gas, coal, hydropower and renewables.

    France, China to bid for SA reactors | Fin24
     
  5. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Cir, I know you want to post something Chinese is doing good to give India some color see see.
    but this post is nothing related to India, and if I were you, I could add some opinions , such as , Chinese have not time mass with indian, we are busy at making money all around the world.
    a post like "Diamond industry under threat from Chinese dragon" will get more reply.
    Diamond industry under threat from Chinese dragon - Times Of India
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Or do the Serbs remember this?

    U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  7. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    All he posts is Chinese FDI, it is nothing to be proud of when more than half of Chinese investments lose money or go under. It is losing money in the end. He can post all the European investments he wants, it is just Europeans running away with China money.
     
  9. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    Since some Indians here are enamoured of posting things negative about China, I will do only the contrary。

    I am not here to rubbish India。So I shall refrain from posting anything that puts India in a bad spot,especially when China is the “culprit”。
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  10. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Cir, acha kaam, bahuth acha,you looks like a swami, ok, just keep posting good thing about china. forget me if I throw any rubblish to India or China.
     

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