Are countries finally going to start pushing back against China?

Serbia continues to build ties with China.

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Wasn’t Orban in Hungary also yukking it up with Xi during his trip?


Serbia, The Mexico of the EU?

Isn’t Mexico climbing, economically speaking? They are also much better integrated in trade deals including with the US and Canada. What’s Serbia’s game plan?


NAFTA guarantees Chinese industry that has moved to Mexico has preferential treatment. Probably a similar deal for Serbia within the EU.

Also Macron :man_shrugging:



Macron is trying to play both sides. Basically hedging the downfall of the US.

Hungary and Serbia wants more investments and loans.

China is being smart targeting the more disenfranchised EU member states to negate any trade problems with the EU down the road with Serbia and Hungary.

Serbia is not in the EU, right?


No, I thought it wasn’t but thought I was wrong because Xi visited other EU countries and wanted to build a high speed rail from Budapest to Serbia (I have no idea why this is something these 2 countries would want in a loan to build)

But I was initially right. It’s not a EU country.

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As much as 85 percent of the project’s investment is financed by the Export-Import Bank of China through a 20-year loan of $1.8 billion to Hungary and $1.3 billion to Serbia and the rest will be covered by the Serbian and Hungarian governments.

I mean the idea of such a project is that it would bring more economic growth to offset the loan and costs in the long run. I’m not seeing how these poor countries will do that between them :man_shrugging:

I don’t find it too surprising that they might be willing to accept investment/technical assistance from China/Chinese companies, given the development of HSR in China.

I suppose what’s in it for China is more influence in the region, alongside other investments:

The HSR might assist with agricultural exports from those countries too (it looks like the railway is supposed to extend to the Chinese-run Port of Piraeus on the Aegean Sea).

China recently approved the import of Hungarian cherries and Serbian blueberries too, and I guess there will be more such approvals on the way (there’s a parallel here with China’s motivation for building the HSR through Laos, in part to assist with fruit exports from Thailand to China, which is quite a big business).

China currently imports a lot of cherries from Chile (ca. $2.65 billion in 2023), so I guess this would be a faster alternative.

Good post. But I suspect that northern hemisphere berries are not a straight substitute for southern hemisphere ones; they appear at different times of year (at least that’s what happens in Taiwan, with the Chile ones here in our winter, and the Washington state / British Columbia ones here in late summer).


That’s part of the point I think — China imports a lot of fruit, and there’s a benefit to having a year-round supply using counter-seasonal production from both hemispheres.

I actually think that one of the main reasons we get Chilean cherries here is because of the demand for them in China ahead of Lunar New Year — exporters probably just load an extra couple of containers to be diverted to Taiwan. I don’t think cherries for LNY is a tradition here, but it definitely is now in China (after several years of the Chilean fruit sector and Chinese importers and retailers turning it into one).

(Should note that China produces a lot of cherries too, so domestic production would probably be the main impediment to importing from other Northern Hemisphere countries.)

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Some of them are in Kinmen (and Penghu) staring China right in the face.

By the way, Mearsheimer has done an about-face on American intervention in Taiwan. I just sent him an email asking him how he can square US intervention with the fact that you can only be a regional hegemon.

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For those not following him, what’s his before/current opinions?

Before (he was still saying this as late as two years ago):



The before piece contains the stuff in the adter piece on pages 2 and 3, I didn’t bother with page 4

He could probably stand behind everything he said in 2014, unless he predicted a specific year in 2014. The headline was written by someone else to get clicks

I hope your email used full sentences and not mysterious fragments like this one!


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