lørdag 28. april 2018

EU Ambassadors Condemn China’s Belt and Road Initiative

On Wednesday, it was reported by Handelsblatt that 27 out of 28 EU ambassadors to China signed a report criticizing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hungarian ambassador was the only exception. It is unclear when the report will get published, and whether Handelsblatt saw a draft of the report or a finished version. However, if Handelsblatt’s claims turn out to be true, it will mark one of the biggest setbacks the BRI has seen to date.

Europe is the final frontier of the land routes central to the BRI. Every day trains from the Chinese trading hubs of Yiwu, Chongqing, and elsewhere begin epic three-week journeys to Europe – ultimately arriving at distribution hubs in Duisburg, Madrid, and London. Moreover, the 16+1 Initiative between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries is heavily linked to the BRI. Yet the success of further opening up of trade routes into Europe, Chinese infrastructure projects in the region, and the entirety of the 16+1 Initiative are threatened by Europe’s increasing reticence with Chinese involvement in the region. This latest report focusing on the BRI is merely the tip of the iceberg.