China's Gateway to Europe - The New Silk Road, Part 1
China is investing in bridges, port facilities, railroads, and roads around the world. Beijing is spending several hundred billion euros on what it calls the "Silk Road Economic Belt." Chinese President Xi Jinping says the project will provide development opportunities and wealth for China and the entire world. Beijing will take the lead role in building this infrastructure network. After the financial crisis in Greece, no European country wanted to invest there -- but China saw an opportunity, and bought shares in the port of Piraeus. By 2016, Beijing owned a majority of shares. The Greek dockworkers' union still finds it hard to accept that the port no longet belongs to Greece. In 2019, Italy joined the Silk Road project -- and signed a memorandum of understanding with China on development of the port of Trieste. But critics warn that the "Silk Road" project will allow Beijing to spread its influence around the world. Europe is divided between those who favor such cooperation, and those who oppose it.