On October 15, in the city of Kishlunhalash, the ceremony of starting the construction of the Hungarian section of the Hungary-Serbia railway was held.
The highway between Budapest and Belgrade is the first major Chinese infrastructure project in Central Europe, which is being implemented as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. It will make it possible to quickly deliver goods from Greece to Western Europe.
A memorandum on the creation of a railway was signed between China, Serbia and Hungary in 2014. The construction of the Serbian section started in 2018.
Last year, the Chinese signed an agreement with Hungary in the amount of $ 2.1 billion. Thus, 85% of the project will be implemented at the expense of a Chinese loan.
It is China’s flagship transport project in Eastern Europe and is being implemented by its subsidiary China Railway as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The construction of the Serbian section began in 2018, commissioning is scheduled for 2022. Financing is provided by Exim Bank of China (allocated 943 million euros).
According to the plan, in a year it will be possible to get from Budapest to Belgrade in just 3 hours (now the journey is about nine). The Hungarian capital will become an important hub for the new Silk Road, and consumers in Eastern Europe will have no problem getting goods from China through the Greek port of Piraeus, which has long been owned by Beijing. However, we all understand that for the PRC the project is important not only and not so much economically as geopolitically.
“Over the past month, the construction of the Hungarian section of the highway has begun – not the first success of China in promoting its interests in Europe. At the end of September, Beijing began cooperating with the Polish port of Gdynia. Between him and China’s Chengdu, a new transport route with a freight traffic of more than $ 2.5 million has been launched.