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China investment must not undermine EU joint policy, warns Merkel

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BERLIN (Reuters) - European Union member states that participate in Chinese government-led infrastructure initiatives should be aware of the risk of undermining the bloc’s common foreign policy stance toward China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, she said there was nothing intrinsically wrong with China’s role in projects like the construction of a railway between EU member Hungary and Serbia, part of the Chinese-led “16+1” initiative involving 16 mostly poorer member states.

“I see great value in EU members who participate in this initiative also representing our common foreign policy toward China, because otherwise the EU would be allowing itself to be divided against itself,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Madeline Chambers