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BRI Inevitable. BRI in Europe Now

See also: European Unity contention

BRI inevitable, can’t stop it

Hussain, February 1, 2019, Ali Hussain works for King’s College London with a range of stakeholders to influence policy in the mental health field. He uses various mediums like policy briefs, reports and social media to interact with charities, government departments and policymakers, Taking the long route: China’s path to global leadership, https://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2019/02/01/taking-the-long-route-chinas-path-to-global-leadership/ Ali holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London

The US can act in several ways to counteract China’s growing regional influence. America can (1) create opposition to partner states (2) strengthen US economic engagement in the region and (3) encourage US allies to avoid participation. However, this may do little to deter China’s global plans, as the BRI is marketed to countries in dire need of infrastructural development – such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kenya, to name but a few of the 65 countries involved – as an internal development programme and a win-win for both China and participating countries.

Europe cooperating on BRI projects with China now

Thai News Service, May 19, 2019, China: Chinese Mission to the EU Holds a Roundtable on Belt and Road Initiative

Ambassador Zhang noted that he was glad to hear European voices during the forum. Vice President of the European Commission and leaders or representatives of some EU member states were there. China and Europe signed cooperation documents on investment and financing, third-party markets, science and innovation, and China-Europe Railway Express. Europe has become a major participant, contributor and beneficiary of the forum. China and Europe should work closer with each other on the fronts of multilateralism, concrete results, innovation, and high quality

22 European countries have already joined

Thai News Service, May 19, 2019, China: Promoting High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation between China and Europe (From Chinese Mission to the European Union)

The second point is about concrete results. We have achieved some good results. 22 European countries have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. China-Europe Railway Express has made over 14,000 trips, connecting 15 European countries and 51 European cities. More importantly, the rail services are basically balanced in both directions. And we could do even more. China welcomes more European countries getting involved in the Belt and Road cooperation, no matter individually or as a bloc. China and the EU have agreed to synergize our visions for connectivity. It’s time to get things done.

China-EU trade cooperation now

Thai News Service, May 19, 2019, China: Promoting High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation between China and Europe (From Chinese Mission to the European Union)

Interestingly, this upward trend coincided with the conclusion of another international treaty with China, this time by the European Union (“EU”) (of which Italy is a founding member), named the 2003 EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (the “EU-China CSP”).7Link to the text of the note In support of the EU-China CSP, both sides released policy papers that emphasised the importance of their trade relations. The EU’s policy paper stated that “the EU and China have an ever-greater interest to work together as strategic partners to safeguard and promote sustainable development, peace and stability”.8Link to the text of the note China, on the other hand, laid down policy objectives, such as promoting a sound and steady development of China-EU political relations, fortifying economic co-operation and trade, promoting common development, and expanding cultural and individual exchanges.9Link to the text of the note

As intended, the EU-China CSP led to a significant increase in trade relations and co-operation between China and EU’s Member States, including Italy. Between 2005 and 2018, Chinese investments in Italy reached USD 24.99 billion the fourth highest in the EU after the UK, Germany and France.10Link to the text of the note

Belt and Road expanding now

Cavanna, July 2019, https://tnsr.org/2019/07/unlocking-the-gates-of-eurasia-chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-and-its-implications-for-u-s-grand-strategy/, Thomas P. Cavanna is a visiting assistant professor at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the Center for Strategic Studies. He writes on U.S. grand strategy and U.S. foreign policy toward China and South Asia. He holds a French “Agrégation” and a Master’s degree and doctorate in history from Sciences Po. He was also a Fox Fellow at Yale. Dr. Cavanna is currently working on a book on the Belt and Road Initiative and U.S. grand strategy., Unlocking the Gates of Eurasia: China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Its Implications for U.S. Grand Strategy

The scope and content of the initiative are ambiguous and in constant flux. However, these characteristics do not necessarily handicap it. Belt and Road’s membership — currently more than 100 countries — continues to expand. Although many observers have derided the vagueness of its Memoranda of Understanding, these documents have real political value and initiate processes that can gain momentum over time. Moreover, many actors located outside Belt and Road’s boundaries are collaborating with China’s initiative, including the Saudi government, British banks, and American companies.24 Finally, Belt and Road works in conjunction with Beijing’s industrial modernization, economic and diplomatic outreach, propaganda, and military expansion.

Demand for infrastructure ensures BRI continues to grow

Cavanna, July 2019, https://tnsr.org/2019/07/unlocking-the-gates-of-eurasia-chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-and-its-implications-for-u-s-grand-strategy/, Thomas P. Cavanna is a visiting assistant professor at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the Center for Strategic Studies. He writes on U.S. grand strategy and U.S. foreign policy toward China and South Asia. He holds a French “Agrégation” and a Master’s degree and doctorate in history from Sciences Po. He was also a Fox Fellow at Yale. Dr. Cavanna is currently working on a book on the Belt and Road Initiative and U.S. grand strategy., Unlocking the Gates of Eurasia: China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Its Implications for U.S. Grand Strategy

Yet, Belt and Road’s appeal remains strong. To begin, the initiative’s relevance is guaranteed by the fact that projected global infrastructure needs from 2013 to 2030 may amount to $57 trillion.67 Additionally, Western-led organizations have long neglected building infrastructure and have been highly risk-averse, which led them to ignore many poor countries, a gap that Beijing is now trying to bridge.68 Moreover, while the criticism of China deserves attention — after all, it uses its economic power to gain leverage and some of its practices are dangerous — its development financing has had positive effects. This impact, which includes economic growth, job creation, and providing alternatives to austerity in times of crisis, explains Beijing’s undeniable popularity in Africa and Latin America

BRI investment will hit $1 trillion by 2027

Tod van den bosch, July 21, 2019, https://www.ajot.com/premium/ajot-the-rise-of-automation-amazon-and-disrupters-to-the-belt-and-road-initiative, The rise of automation, Amazon and disrupters to the Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to generate momentum and reshape the intermodal transportation sector. It is estimated that the overall investment on the BRI will exceed $1 trillion by 2027 with an estimated $20 billion dedicated to port and terminal development. There have been numerous port milestones to date including for example the development of the port and special economic zone in Duqm in Oman.

126 countries are already part of the BRI

Sultana Yesmin, July 3, 2019, https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/07/03/bri-leads-to-common-prosperity-and-development/ BRI leads to common prosperity and development

China-proposed BRI has already attained acceptability and popularity across the world. To date, 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed 174 cooperation agreements with China under the initiative framework.