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China proposes joint financing firm with Central, East Europe

The region represents a key part of Beijing's "Belt and Road" strategy

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Mr Li suggested setting up "a 16+1 multilateral finance company" to finance trade and investment.

Suzhou

CHINA on Tuesday proposed setting up a new multilateral financing institution to support project lending in Central and Eastern Europe, as it looks to strengthen its influence in a region seen as a gateway to the European Union.

The proposal, floated by Chinese Premier Li