Romania says Chinese Road Projects Prove Wisdom of 2021 Ban

Romania banned Chinese companies from public infrastructure projects in 2021; two that predate the measure have gone far from smoothly.

Catalin Drula recalls visiting Montenegro in 2016, when work was just beginning on what was supposed to be a 143-kilometre highway from the Adriatic port of Bar to the border with neighbouring Serbia.

Last year, eight years after the contract was signed with a Chinese construction firm, the first 41-km section opened, but the fate of the rest is shrouded in uncertainty. Montenegro, meanwhile, has been saddled with debts to China worth more than a third of its annual budget.

“The loan repayment was a burden for Montenegro,” Drula said. “It was almost the entire budget for one year for all the roads in Montenegro.”

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