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As CEE warms to China, experts warn of risk

Beijing is keen to use European markets but the feeling is not reciprocal

PRAGUE -- As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stood before leaders from Central and Eastern Europe at the China-CEE "16-plus-One" summit in November in Riga, Latvia, he announced an ambitious economic agenda that defied decades of icy relations between the two regions.

With a focus on improving trade, China reaffirmed its support for the building of ports in the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas, a massive, multi-billion-dollar project that could create a commercial windfall for cash-strapped countries like Latvia. And to show that Beijing means business, Li simultaneously launched a $11.15 billion fund for new investment projects in CEE countries, with hopes of raising a total of $53.94 billion for new infrastructure in the region.

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