The New Maritime Silk Road: Bringing China and Europe closer together?

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There has been considerable international media attention around Xi Jinping's idea of building "One Belt, One Road" (a concept that includes two pathways: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) between China and Europe. In principle this project has the potential to bring China and the European Union closer together. The recently opened world's longest train route between Yiwu and Madrid is a good example. However, until now China's New Silk Road concept is still underdeveloped. It is not very clear whether the intention is exclusively to increase the connectivity within Asia or whether there is a grander plan to embrace the larger Eurasia region (including Western Europe). It is also unclear whether the New Silk Road is strictly an economic endeavour or it has broader geopolitical and geo-strategic aims. What is clear is that the plan is ambitious and that China has the political and financial capacity to boost it. For this reason, the European Union and its member states need to engage more actively with China in the construction of this new road.


IGLESIAS, Miguel Otero

(Senior Analyst, International Political Economy, Elcano Royal Institute, Madrid, Spain.)


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