The Belt and Road Initiative, originally aimed at domestic economic development, has turned into an umbrella bringing together China’s ambitious projects to shape a new order in Eurasia, which directly influences Europe.
The BRI has become a mechanism to represent China abroad as well as a tool to ensure China’s competitive advantage in the world trade.
This also has an impact on the entire trade system redirecting trade flows and making countries to compete for investments, which alters the existing order and each country’s place in this order. Buying shares of Italian strategic national companies, gaining control over ports and terminals along the BRI sea route, for example, the port of Piraeus, and other investments recently made by China force European countries to adapt its economic strategies to new conditions.
What is going on in details? What does it mean for Europe? Read more in the Valdai Paper by the authors representing both Chinese and European perspectives on the issue.