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The Chinese strategy in expanding its sphere of influence globally is tried and tested – pick an impoverished country or region badly in need of large scale infrastructure development; bus in thousands of Chinese workers who would otherwise be looking for employment in China; build roads, railways, ports and airports and then use that infrastructure as a conduit for Chinese-made goods to access new consumer markets. This tactic worked time and time again in Africa, and now it is being deployed in Europe, starting with the redevelopment of the Greek port of Piraeus and now extending in the hinterland with rail routes through Serbia and into Hungary.

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