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Xi's Trip to Europe Followed China’s FDI Trail

The choice of stops on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tour of Europe, his first since 2019, was no accident. He arrived in France on May 5 to meet President Emmanuel Macron, who has stressed Europe’s need for “strategic autonomy” and to avoid becoming a “vassal” in the US-China conflict according to FDI Intelligence

Then Mr Xi moved on to Serbia, a non-EU and non-Nato member, where government claims that Kosovo is part of its territory are ideologically similar to  China’s claims over Taiwan.  His trip then concluded on May 10 in Hungary, where he proclaimed China-Hungary relations to be at their “best in history”.

Aside from geopolitical reasoning for each visit, these three countries have another thing in common: high levels of recent Chinese FDI. 

Between 2021 and 2023, China-based companies made $12.1bn of investment pledges in Hungary, according to fDi Markets, more than in any other European country and an increase from $1.05bn during the previous three years. Over the last three full years, Serbia was the European country with the second-highest Chinese FDI at $6.84bn, more than double the figure between 2018 and 2020. France, meanwhile, attracted $2.3bn of Chinese FDI in 2023 alone, the highest level since 2016.

Xi's Trip to Europe Followed China’s FDI Trail
Xi's Trip to Europe Followed China’s FDI Trail


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