Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, right, and Chinese Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng attend a meeting of China and 16 countries of central and eastern Europe in Belgrade, Serbia, Oct. 16, 2018.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, right, and Chinese Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng attend a meeting of China and 16 countries of central and eastern Europe in Belgrade, Serbia, Oct. 16, 2018.

BELGRADE - An official says China wants to further boost cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe where it is already financing infrastructure and other projects as part of a wider bid to increase global influence.

Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng spoke Tuesday at a meeting with officials from 16 countries from the region that focused on transport links.

The initiative is part of China's wider “New Silk Road” plan to boost influence in Europe and elsewhere in the world through investments and closer economic relations.

Li said the “current international situation is pretty complex and the facts of uncertainty have increased.” He adds in comments translated by an official interpreter that China is “willing and prepared” to “further deepen our cooperation based on the complementary advantage.”

China's investment efforts have sparked European Union concerns.