A Concise Guide to the BRI (2019). This article provides an excellent summary/synopsis of the BRI.
Te Geo-economic challenge of the BRI (2019). This article focuses more on the policy history of the initiative and includes
What the end of Chimerica means for Europe (2019). This article explains that the Europe is caught in a zero-sum geopolitical rivalry between the US and China and must choose sides.
How does the EU work? (2019). The EU’s authority has steadily expanded as its members have passed more and more decision-making power to the union. How do its institutions work?
Belt Road Economics: Opportunities and Risks (2019) . This is a larger document that goes into more of the specific pros and cons of the BRI.
China at the Gates: A New Power Audit of EU-China Relations (2017). This December 2017 article is a very comprehensive look a .t China-EU relations, with an emphasis on the BRI. It is quite long, but it is worth reading through. You should also keep the link, as there probably is a bit on almost every argument you will encounter.
Belt & Road Tracker (2019)
Background – General
A Concise Guide to the BRI (2019)
CSIS. China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative: Economic Drivers and Challenges (2018) China’s leaders have mapped out an ambitious plan, the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), to establish three “blue economic passages” that will connect Beijing with economic hubs around the world.1 It is the maritime dimension of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which could include $1–4 trillion in new roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure. Within this broad and ever-expanding construct, Chinese investments have been especially active in the Indo-Pacific region, raising questions about whether it is China’s economic or strategic interests that are driving major port investments. This article is okay for purposes of the topic. It says the commercial ports that China is developing can have commercial purposes but those those are often primarily used for strategic purposes. This ports that are referenced are in South Asia, as opposed to Europe, but some of the trade from China to Europe goes through Sri Lanka.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2017). Understanding Europe’s Interest in China’s Belt and Road. This is a good overview of Europe’s interest in the Belt Road initiative.
The Diplomat. (2017). Germany wants Europe to Help Shape the Belt & Road. This article discusses the importance of the EU supporting the BRI to make sure it complies with EU trade rules and to help develop appropriate China-EU trade corridors.
Brookings Institute. China’s backdoor to Europe (2019). This article is not that useful but it helps to highlight some of the major issues related to Europe’s involvement in the BRI.
China’s official document on the BRI (2015). This doesn’t really have any useful evidence, but it is a good reading for understanding the debate.
Five myths about the BRI (2019). The article covers 5 myths and ays the BRI isn’t as strong as it is claimed to be.
Brookings Institute. China’s backdoor to Europe (2019). This article is not that useful but it helps to highlight some of the major issues related to Europe’s involvement in the BRI.
China’s official document on the BRI (2015). This doesn’t really have any useful evidence, but it is a good reading for understanding the debate.
Enrico Fardella and Giorgio Prodi, “The Belt and Road Initiative Impact on Europe: An Italian Perspective,” China & World Economy, Vol. 25, No. 5, 2017, p. 136. This paper analyzes the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on Europe with a specific focus on Italy. We concentrate on the impact of new railways and port infrastructures on bilateral trade. Our analysis suggests that the development of new railway connections will benefit most of the Northern and Central European countries. Some industries like automotive and electronics that have a higher value to weight ratio will benefit more than others. However, due to higher costs, railway services will never reach a high percentage of total import/export flows. Investment in new port facilities, although less “new” compared with railways, may be a bigger game changer. The development of the Port of Piraeus has already increased the importance of the Mediterranean Sea as an import/export hub for China. If the other planned investments in Egypt and Algeria are completed, this phenomenon will be magnified. This presents a huge challenge for Italy. The Italian port in the high Adriatic Sea could be displaced by Piraeus capacity, especially if this port is linked through railways with the center of Europe. Italy needs to coordinate its ports together with its railway network to take advantage of Belt and Road Initiative opportunities.
Sarmiza Pencea, “A Look into the Complexities of the One Belt, One Road Strategy,” Global Economic Observer, Vol. 5, Issue 1, 2017, This article provides a general overview of the BRI and the economic potential of trade. It is not specific to the EU and instead discusses the overall project.
Chas W. Freeman, Jr., “China and the Economic Integration of Europe and Asia,” Washington Journal of Modern China, Vol. 12, Spring2016, pp. 38-39. This is a general overview of China’s goals and vision for the BRI.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Motives, Scope, and Challenges (2019). China’s commercial ties with the outside world have long been symbolized by the ancient Silk Road, which began as a tortuous trading network of mountain paths and sea routes that provided a lifeline for the Chinese economy. Now the leadership in Beijing is reviving the concept with an ambitious plan to build and upgrade highways, railways, ports, and other infrastructure throughout Asia and Europe designed to enrich the economies of China and some 60 of its nearby trading partners. The so-called Belt and Road Initiative. Note:This is a free Kindle book
Belt and Road; A Chinese World Order (2019). China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land and sea, it will affect every element of global society, from shipping to agriculture, digital economy to tourism, politics to culture. Most importantly, it symbolizes a new phase in China’s ambitions as a superpower: to remake the world economy and crown Beijing as the new center of capitalism and globalization. Bruno Maçães traces this extraordinary initiative’s history, highlighting its achievements to date, and its staggering complexity. He asks whether Belt and Road is about more than power projection and profit. Might it herald a new set of universal political values, to rival those of the West? Is it, in fact, the story of the century?
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (2019) On China’s expanding influence in Europe and Eurasia
CSIS. European Pragmatism and the Belt and Road Forum (2019)
General – EU Won’t Join Now
Euroactiv. European Bloc not considering joining China’s Belt & Road plans. T his article says that Europe as a bloc is not going to join the BRI but that individual countries within the EU can and that many have joined. This will make it tricky for the Pro on this topic, as they are going to have to prove with the EU should do it, as opposed to individual countries.
General European Integration
China’s Belt and Road Initiative; Destination Europe (2016). This article argues that the BRI will re-order global supply chains in a way that benefits Europe.
Garcia, A. and H. Xu, 2016, “China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Can Europe expect trade gains?” Bruegel Working Papers, Bruegel, Brussels. Alicia Garcia Herrero and Jianwei Xu, “China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Can Europe Expect Trade Gains?” China & World Economy, Vol. 25, No. 6, 2017, p. 98.
The Belt and Road Initiative: An Asian Perspective (2019). It has been more than five years now that Chinese President Xi Jinping first referred to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or One Belt One Road as it was called at the time, during his visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in September 2013. Since then, the project has generated extensive intellectual curiosity among academics around the world, while policy-makers have sought to come up with the best possible policy response to reap the possible benefits of China’s grand strategy, which involves infrastructure development and investments to boost connectivity between Asia, Europe and Africa. The European Union (EU), for example, presented The European Way to Connectivity – A New Strategy on How to Better Connect Europe and Asia last September, in which the EU sets out the parameters under which in intends to engage in boosting connectivity between Europe and Asia. The strategy is by no means a rival to the BRI, but rather a reaffirmation of the EU’s own approach when it comes to connectivity projects. But Europe is not the only part of the world that is closely watching the evolution of China’s grand scheme. So does Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian countries (ASEAN), which is the focus of this policy brief. If observers argue that the BRI has created dividing lines between the EU member states, this is even more so among ASEAN countries
Newsweek. Merkel and Macron support expanded ties (2019). French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called for improved trading ties with China as they voice cautious optimism about the Continent becoming more involved in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The Diplomat (2017). France, Italy, and China’s Belt & Road Initiative (2017). European states remained focused on bilateral ties with China, but the ‘Belt and Road’ must be multilateral to succeed. During their visits, both Mattarella and Cazeneuve showed interest in the “One Belt, One Road” strategy developed by China. However, one can bemoan the lack of coordination between the two European neighbors. Both countries presented their own assets for the completion of the new Silk Road. Thus, Mattarella emphasized the quality and locations of the Italian ports of Genoa and Trieste to reach the core of Europe, and Cazeneuve attended the arrival in Wuhan of a freight train coming from Lyon, France. Although the Italian president and the French premier visited China at the same time, no common meetings or shared events were held. The French and Italian heads of state and government were focused on a bilateral approach of relations with China, but the success of “One Belt, One Road” largely depends on the participants’ ability to manage multilateral projects.
General European Integration — 5G Links
China Unicom to build 5G networks on in Belt and Road Countries (2019). This article says that China is building 5G networks in BRI countries.
Digital Silk Road: Xi’s Dream of Conquering Asia (2019). This article says that the BRI now includes a digital silk road that has 5G
Europe may hold new promise for BRI (2019). Part of this article discusses the digital components of the BRI, including potential surveillance, AI, and cyber security issues.
Europe Should Join the BRI
Make it a two-way street’: China’s Silk Road faces French roadblock (2019). This article says that if China joins as a unified bloc they have the power to stand up to China. If they try to deal with China as individual countries, China will out-fox them in deals.
The Belt and Road Intiative and its impact on Europe. (2019). This article argues that if Europe joins the BRI that it will help its economy by increasing rail and sea export routes. It also says that if the EU isn’t unified on the BRI that China will keep picking off individual countries and generally undermine European unity.
The Road that divided the EU: Italy joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative (2019). This article argues that the EU is currently divided because individual countries are joining the BRI. The Pro can say that if the EU joins as an entity that that will reduce the current tension/conflict that is developing.
Italy/China set to join the BRI (2019). This makes the same unity-related argument previously reference.
A quest for coherence in Europe’s connectivity strategy (2019). This article argues that China is making deals with individual member states and that Europe needs to respond as a bloc in order to protect its influence and interests, as the bloc has more economic power.
Strategic Culture Belt and Road Initiative in Full Swing in Europe. (2019) The multipolar transformation that is occurring across the Eurasian continent confirms the industrial and diplomatic cooperation between China and the European continent in spite of strong opposition from the United States. This article says the BRI will enable Europe to access needed capital, get onto China’s 5G network, and reduce reliance on the US.
- Foreign Investment
Does OBOR promote China’s investment? (2018). In response to the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, China’s overseas direct investment (ODI), especially whole or majority-ownership mergers and acquisitions, rose significantly in the belt-road countries, especially the ones along the continental route. Comparatively speaking, China’s state-controlled acquirers played a leading role in infrastructure sectors, whereas the non-state-controlled acquirers were particularly active in non-infrastructure sectors. Central and West Asia, Western Europe and Russia are favorable destinations of Chinese ODI.
— Multipolarity good
Europe must unit on China (2019)
Tyler Durden. Belt & Road in Full Swing in Europe. The multipolar transformation that is occurring across the Eurasian continent confirms the industrial and diplomatic cooperation between China and the European continent in spite of strong opposition from the United States. The article argues that it supports multilateralism and undermining US unilateral power. Teams can argue multipolarity/unipolarity good bad.
– -Improves Europe’s economy
Europe’s financial security and Chinese economic statecraft: the case of the Belt and Road Initiative (2018). Abstract The core of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) involves trillions of US$ in investment to increase and improve connectivity between China and different parts of the world. This includes tens of billions of US$ to build or upgrade roads, rail lines, ports, pipelines and other infrastructure to connect China with Europe. With the European continent still feeling the effects of the Global Financial and Eurozone Sovereign Debt crises, this is an opportunity to strengthen its financial security by gaining access to a new source of financing. This new source, however, is linked to Chinese economic statecraft. Thus, cash-starved Europe can tap on the recently launched Silk Road Fund, Maritime Silk Road Fund and other initiatives from the Chinese government. Concurrently, however, political divisions within Europe derived from Chinese investment, as well as normative differences in terms of standards and practices present a challenge to the continent. This article thus analyses the effects of BRI, presented as a tool of Chinese economic statecraft, on Europe’s financial security. It argues that in spite of the latent challenges to said security, the potential benefits have already led many European countries to seek to tap on BRI’s investment as a means to strengthen their financing position
China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Can Europe Expect Trade Gains (2016) The Belt and Road initiative, recently embarked on by China, aims to improve cross-border infrastructure in order to reduce transportation costs across a massive geographical area between China and Europe. We estimate how much trade might be created among Belt and Road countries as a consequence of the reduction in transportation costs (both railway and maritime) and find that European Union countries, especially landlocked countries, should benefit considerably. This is also true for eastern Europe and Central Asia and, to a lesser extent, southeast Asia. In contrast, if China were to seek to establish a free trade area within the Belt and Road region, EU member states would benefit less, while Asia would benefit more. Xi Jinping’s current vision for the Belt and Road, centred on improving transport infrastructure, is very good news for Europe as far as trade creation is concerned.) is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel. Jianwei Xu ([email protected]) is a Visiting Fellow at Bruegel.
European Institute of Romania. A Pivot to Europe: China’s Belt and Road Balancing Act. Abstract: In the international agora, China is increasingly reaching out to Europe. Driven both by economic necessities and strategic imperatives, a grand design for crossing (and transforming) Asia has been advanced: the so-called Belt-and-Road Initiative. As they share a common (extended) neighbourhood in the Middle East and Central Asia, the two actors’ manner of interaction – cooperative or adversarial – shall define the future of the region. For this reason, the present policy brief evaluates the manner in which China intends to implement the project and how its own goals really correspond to those of the European Union. Moreover, the economic and legal implications of the initiative are put into the larger strategic context, showing how Europe could actually profit and what “red lines” it needs to draw before engaging on the Silk Road along China.
Europe Now Journal. Belt and Road Intiative in Europe: Reaching Beyond Asia. (2018) In 2017, China-EU trade increased by 15.5 percent compared with the previous year. China-Europe freight trains ran 1,000 times, with a sharp increase by 158 percent. The trains have dual directions, transporting small commodities, textile, and electronic products from China to Europe, and carrying cars, milk, and red wines from Europe to China. The running of freight trains is a vivid microcosm of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Europe. BRI is conducted to enhance connectivity and boost trade and infrastructure construction in Eurasia. It is economic, rather than political or military. Instead of building a revisionist alliance, BRI seeks to create a flexible economic network with shared opportunity.
Europe should not join the BRI
How Scary is the BRI? (2019). This article argues that expansion of the BRI is used to trap European countries into debt, push political propoganda, and generally to allow China to buy up Europe.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Potential Threats for the European Union. (2018). This article argues that any China-EU BRI deal will operate at the expense of the EU and only favor China.
-Nature. China charts a path into European science (2019). As the Belt and Road Initiative spreads to central and eastern Europe, China’s investments in research and technology are raising concerns in the West.
RFI. Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative an attack on European unity?Brussels has always been skeptical about China’s trillion-dollar “One Belt – One Road Initiative” (BRI), and the report with the dull-sounding title “EU-China – A Strategic Outlook” carries some harsh criticism of the ways Beijing is trying to do business with Europe. The report complains about “onerous requirements” as a precondition for EU companies gaining access to the Chinese market. The requirements include handing over the latest technological know-how to prospective Chinese counterparts in joint-venture operations.The report also says that exports of many EU products are “subject to discriminatory, unpredictable and burdensome procedures,” causing long delays.
Will China’s Digital Silk Road lead to a more authoritarian future? (2019). This article claims that when China’ expands the digital BRI into new areas that it supports its ability to suck-up more data, increasing its strength in both AI and authoritarianism/population control. There are also a number of related linked arguments at the bottom.
BRI Generally Good
Global Health Disruptors; The Belt Road Initiative (2018). Finally, national and regional institutions and mechanisms supporting the initiative have the potential to enrich the governance for global health.  This already manifests through the public health stance of regional political and economic organisations with overlapping membership with the initiative, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the Eurasian Economic Union. Health “clubs,” such as the meetings of health ministers of China and Central and Eastern Europe and the high level forum of China-Africa Health Cooperation, have also contributed.
China’s belt and road initiative from a global health perspective (2018). Demonstrated leadership is crucial to the future of global health laws.2 The Belt and Road Initiative provides a consistent mechanism for negotiation, adoption of collective action, and monitoring of normative rules. It also provides an opportunity for the global north to connect with the global south through this common platform of economic security, which aligns with many ob
Combatting infectious disease through China’s BRI (2018). UHC and response to the challenges posed by infectious disease epidemics are vital for the new era, with health considerations at the core of the BRI. Despite the serious threats of the infectious disease epidemics, the emphasis on health through the BRI puts us in an excellent position to achieve the health-related aspects of the SDGs by implementing the Health Silk Road concept of improved life through health-related communication. Based on technical experience in this field, mature collaborating mechanisms, and the provision of financial support, the strategies in the context of the BRI reinforce the various countries’ extensive engagement in combating infectious disease epidemics.
China Belt and Road Initiative: Measuring the impact of improving transportation connectivity on trade in the region (2018). There is a positive and statistically significant relationship between transport infrastructure and connectivity and bilateral trade. Assuming that this relationship is causal, with the proposed level of investment in transport infrastructure in the BRI region, total trade volumes increase not only in the BRI region, but also in the countries outside the initiative (such as those in the EU). Therefore it appears to be a win-win scenario.
Solar energy could power the BRI (2019). This article explains that solar energy will work well along the BRI.
“Labor Standards” Answers
An Asia-Pacific Strategy Connecting Europe to Asia…the European way (2018). This article argues that imposing European labor standards will fail. It also claims that the EU’s connctivity Strategy is not a serious response to China’s BRI.
BRI Generally Good — Connectivity Strategy
Active cooperation through connectivity (2018). This article agues for the EU and China cooperating, but it is very vague.
What should China, EU make for digital cooperation? (2018). This also makes a general case for China-EU collaboration, but it is also very vague.
Europe’s Connectivity Strategy and the Challenge of China (2018). This very brief article contends that the Connectivity Strategy is superior.
A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe’s Connectivity (2019). This argues the Connectivity Strategy alone lacks capital and is too focused on small, unachievable goals to succeed.
BRI Good/Bad – Both Sides.
Euronews (2019). World Bank: China’s Belt and Road can speed development, needs transparency China’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure drive could speed up economic development and reduce poverty for dozens of developing countries, the World Bank said on Tuesday in a new report that called for deep policy reforms and more transparency for the initiative. The long-delayed report said that the Belt and Road, a string of ports, railways, roads and bridges and other investments connecting China to Europe via central and southern Asia, could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty conditions if implemented fully. Still, the initiative comes with “significant risks” given a lack of transparency and institutional issues in some of the participating economies, the World Bank said. “Achieving the ambitions of the Belt and Road Initiative will require equally ambitious reforms from participating countries,” Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, World Bank vice president for equitable growth, said in a statement. “Improvements in data reporting and transparency – especially around debt – open government procurement, and adherence to the highest social and environmental standards will help significantly,” she added.
Assessing China’s BRI Power Play (2019).
BRI Generally Bad
China’s Belt Road and its imperialism. (2019). China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is touted by Beijing as an attempt at multinational economic cooperation and development, comprising everything from foreign direct investment to the development of infrastructure. However, the purpose of the BRI is not economic or cultural but strategic, and is an effort to mask the expansion of Chinese power. In its strategic intent, the BRI should be considered an imperial project alongside the likes of the British East India Company (EIC) or the Dutch East Indian Company, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC). With the BRI, China is exercising the ‘imperial excuse’, just as the EIC and VOC did centuries ago.
The deforestation risks of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (2019). The Belt and Road Initiative, due to its diverse and extensive infrastructure investments, poses a wide range of environmental risks. Some projects have easily identifiable and measurable impacts, such as energy projects’ greenhouse gas emissions. Others, such as transportation infrastructure, due to their vast geographic reach, generate more complex and potentially more extensive environmental risks. The proposed Belt and Road Initiative rail and road investments have stimulated concerns because of the history of significant negative environmental impacts from large-scale transportation projects across the globe. This paper studies environmental risks — direct and indirect — from Belt and Road Initiative transportation projects and the mitigation strategies and policies to address them. The paper concludes with a recommendation on how to take advantage of the scale of the Belt and Road Initiative to address these concerns in a way not typically available to stand-alone projects. In short, this scale motivates and permits early integrated development and conservation planning.
The Silk Road Trap: How China’s Trade Ambitions Challenge Europe. (2019). This book basically argues that there is a good risk that if China joins the BRI and gets more access to capital that it will actually hurt Europe because the balance of trade will still favor China and now Europe will be forced to transfer a lot of capital from Europe to China to re-pay debt.
Knowledge @ Wharton. (2019). China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Why the Price Is Too HighMeyer noted that unlike U.S. foreign aid or the Marshall Plan to rebuild economies after World War II, the BRI is “Chinese investment that expects a return.” Chinese financial institutions lend money for BRI projects in partner countries, and the construction contracts are awarded to mostly Chinese firms, he said. “A Chinese company [thus] receives much of the proceeds of the loan, but the host country has got the debt. If the [return on investment] isn’t sufficient to pay off the debt, China will repossess [the project, and it] becomes a debt-for-equity swap.”
-China military power
Washington Times (2019). China’s One Belt One Road economic investment also expands military footprint
–China influence in Europe bad
Authoritarian Advance: Responding to China’s Growing Political Influence in Europe (2018) MERICS, a German think tank, warned in a detailed report that China’s economic influence is followed by political influence and that it has expanded its efforts ‘to influence Europe’s political and economic elite, media and civil society, in order to promote its authoritarian ideals.’
Europe and China’s new silk roads (2016).
Asia Society. (2019). Navigating the Belt Road Initiative: Recommendations to ensure sustainable outcomes. This report identifies a number of problems with the BRI, including environmental problems, debt traps, corruption, and poor labor treatment.
An Overbuilding time bomb (2019). Europe’s approach to China is stuck in the past. China is now a global power: decisions taken in Beijing are central to virtually all the EU’s pressing global concerns, whether climate change, nuclear proliferation, or rebuilding economic stability. China’s tightly controlled economic and industrial policies strongly affect the EU’s economic wellbeing. China’s policies in Africa are transforming parts of a neighbouring continent whose development is important to Europe. Yet the EU continues to treat China as the emerging power it used to be, rather than the global force it has become.
Kevin Smith, “China-Europe Rail Freight Continues to Soar,” International Railway Journal, Vol. 57 Issue 4, April 2017, pp. 18-22. This article says that China-EU rail and rail investments are increasing now.
BRI Generally Bad — Connectivity Strategy
Connectivity: A Strategy in Response to the BRI (2018). This is a good overview of the strategy and its purpose, but it contains little useful evidence.
Belt Road and the Alternatives; European Strategy (2018). This is a brief article that explains some different alternatives to the BRI.
EU launches strategy to counter China’s BR (2018). The emerging Connectivity Strategy provides alternatives for finance and that does not leave countries dependent on China’s predatory financing.
Background – Italy
Last week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said his country saw an “opportunity” in Belt and Road, and was considering signing up. It would be the first G7 member to do so, though not the first EU country—Eastern European countries such as Hungary and Poland are already on board, as are Greece and Portugal. Italy’s possible participation has raised alarm bells in Berlin and Washington. Germany’s opposition is reportedly behind-the-scenes, but the American displeasure is out in the open. “Italy is a major global economy and great investment destination,” tweeted Garrett Marquis, a Trump special assistant. “No need for Italian government to lend legitimacy to China’s infrastructure vanity project.”
The Diplomat. Italy Signs on to Belt and Road Initiative: EU-China Relations at Crossroads?. This is a decisive moment for Europe, as it responds (for the first time) to Beijing’s industrial and commercial policies.
National Public Radio. What China’s Belt and Road Initiative Means for Europe (2019).
ANDRE LOESEKRUG-PIETRI: Everything shows that the Chinese are playing divide and conquer. Now we have Italy, who has accepted to be the first G7 country to join the Belt and Road.
BEARDSLEY: France and Germany were shocked that Italy signed onto China’s massive infrastructure project when Xi swung through Rome before heading to Paris. Loesekrug-Pietri says only a united Europe will be strong enough to stand up to China’s so-called Silk Road initiative, which many believe is designed to extend China’s influence in Europe and beyond.
CNBC. Is Italy playing with fire?
Washington Post. China lays down a market in Europe. (2019). Some seven centuries after the legendary Venetian explorer and merchant Marco Polo embarked on his odyssey to China, Beijing’s emissaries are establishing a beachhead of their own in Italy. Over the weekend, Italy became the first member of the Group of Seven major developed economies to formally join China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, a sprawling Chinese-led project that aims to build a “new Silk Road” of railways, ports and other infrastructure projects linking China to the West and myriad nations in between. The initiative, backed by billions of dollars in funds from Chinese state-run companies, is steadily reshaping global geopolitics — and steadily unnerving policymakers in Western capitals.
“Italy, whose economy has sagged for decades, says the potential economic benefits are too great to pass up,” wrote The Washington Post’s Rome bureau chief, Chico Harlan. “But in pursuing the Belt and Road deal, Italy’s populist government is breaking ranks with the most powerful countries of the West, defying the wishes of the Trump administration, and highlighting the unsettled debate within Europe on how to deal with China’s globally expanding ambitions.”
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Why did Italy Embrace the Belt and Road? (2019)
Some seven centuries after the legendary Venetian explorer and merchant Marco Polo embarked on his odyssey to China, Beijing’s emissaries are establishing a beachhead of their own in Italy. Over the weekend, Italy became the first member of the Group of Seven major developed economies to formally join China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, a sprawling Chinese-led project that aims to build a “new Silk Road” of railways, ports and other infrastructure projects linking China to the West and myriad nations in between. The initiative, backed by billions of dollars in funds from Chinese state-run companies, is steadily reshaping global geopolitics — and steadily unnerving policymakers in Western capitals.
Background – US
Counterplunch Trump Washington Detests Belt and Road. (2019)
The hostility of members of the Washington Establishment to those considered to be non-conformist extends world-wide, being displayed in the main by the massive US military presence in all parts of the globe. The aim appears to be world domination, and it is therefore not surprising that a major target is China’s Belt and Road initiative, about which the Council on Foreign Relations observed that “in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road infrastructure development and investment initiatives that would stretch from East Asia to Europe. The project, eventually termed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) . . . is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever conceived.” It is intended to facilitate international trad