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The European Union should join China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The European Union should join China’s Belt and Road Initiative

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*Background


 

There is another cool video of it on this page.

Where the BRI goes

Theodore Pelagidis, April 15, 2019, China’s Back Door to Europe, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2019/04/15/chinas-backdoor-to-europe/

BRI represents, in fact, three roads with vital subroutes (Figure 1). The first is over land and revives the ancient Silk Road from China’s Sinai to Rome. On its northern branch, the road reaches from China to Russia; a southern route connects China to Europe through Iran. Combined, these routes pass through Asia and Africa, linking East Asia with Europe and Russia. The maritime portion of the Silk Road links China’s seas with the Mediterranean through the Indian Ocean, the Arabian seas, and the Red Sea. An e-Silk Road exists as well, digitally linking not only countries and regions already engaged through the Silk Road, but also any country wanting to take advantage of Chinese investment and trade opportunities. In addition, a “String of Pearls” strategy focuses mainly on the acquisition of strategically valuable ports, including the Greek port of Piraeus in Athens. The next pearl along the route is set to connect to ports in Italy. This huge multipart undertaking will connect land and sea routes for the efficient ferrying of goods and services between East and West, focusing on creating transport and energy infrastructure as well as maritime investments in strategically important ports. These land and sea routes will undoubtedly affect Europe. Member states are divided over whether to cooperate with China on its giant project.

There are 6 main corridors

Indermit Gill, June 21, 2019, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2019/06/21/winners-and-losers-along-chinas-belt-and-road/ Winners and Losers along China’s Belt and Road

The BRI has six main economic corridors: (1) the New Eurasian Land Bridge; (2) the China-Central Asia-West Asia Corridor; (3) the China-Pakistan Corridor; (4) the Bangladesh-China- Myanmar Corridor; (5) the China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor; (6) the China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor. In the new report, Somik Lall and Mathilde Lebrand focus on landlocked Central Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and western China—but also consider how investments outside Central Asia will improve the region’s connections to the world.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.), China and the Economic Integration of Europe and Asia, 2016, https://www.mepc.org/speeches/china-and-economic-integration-europe-and-asia

Internationally, most attention has focused on Beijing’s ambition to build 81,000 kilometers (about 50,000 miles) of high-speed railways connecting itself to everywhere else in Asia and Europe. One trunk route is to go through Southeast Asia to Singapore. A second will cross the Karakorum Mountains and branch into two lines: one reaching Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea; the other crossing Iran to Turkey, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and Southeastern Europe, with a branch connection to the Arabian Peninsula. A third trunk will go through Kazakhstan and Russia to Western Europe. China’s plan is to enable train travel from London to Beijing in a mere two days as early as 2025.