The European Commission has become increasingly critical of various Chinese investments within the EU, fueling an ongoing debate within Europe about investment screening. While the EU released a framework for foreign investment screening implicitly aimed at China in November 2018, the debate has exposed cross-cutting divisions within Europe. Looking ahead to 2019, we should not expect a clear resolution anytime soon.
The China Road Project, a team of researchers interested in China’s role in global development, will be traveling 60,000 kilometers over land and sea to investigate China's Belt and Road initiative (BRI), a foreign policy concept and global infrastructure plan announced by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, to help close the information gap and shine a light on the multi-trillion dollar initiative.
On September 19, The European Commission released a joint communication titled "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy," outlining EU priorities for implementing sustainable, comprehensive, and rules-based connectivity to link its transport, energy, and digital networks with Asia.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
The EU became wary of China's infrastructure investment in Central and Eastern European countries. Hungary was forced by the EU to conduct a public tender for the Hungarian segment of the Belgrade-Budapest High-Speed Railway, which would delay the project completion until 2023.
"China has lavished investment pledges on Balkan states as it prepares for a summit with 16 EU countries and aspiring members, stoking fears in Brussels and influential national capitals of an effort to divide the bloc" reports the Financial Times, citing data collected in collaboration with the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Since 2012, China has held an annual "16 plus one" forum on economic cooperation with 16 Eastern European states and has pledged to invest a total of $15 billion in infrastructure improvements so far.
A recent report from the Reconnecting Asia Project suggests intercontinental rail will not likely capture enough trade to fundamentally change Eurasia's broader economic picture.
Quotes and Quotas is a digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Japanese trading house Itochu is launching a freight transport service linking Japan and Europe via China.
Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist. Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese cities with 34 European cities. But despite their rapid advances, these lines must compete with maritime routes that have dominated commerce between Asia and Europe since the late fifteenth century. It remains to be seen how much trade they can capture.
State Grid Corp. of China has announced plans to bid for a 20 percent stake in a local German power grid operator. If successful, the deal will be China's first investment in Germany's critical infrastructure.
China's Belt and Road initiative has enjoyed relatively rapid and wide support, particularly in Asia. However, its political future depends on implementation and delivering economic results. To sustain support, China should be looking for opportunities to broaden participation.
British prime minister Theresa May is expecting $12.8 billion in commercial deals with China. The agreements would focus mainly on the fields of finance, agriculture, science and technology, as well as President Xi Jinping's flagship Belt and Road Initiative.
During French president Emmanuel Macron's recent trip to China, he promised to pursue a comprehensive and strategic partnership including collaboration on China's Belt and Road initiative.
Chinese infrastructure investment in CEE countries has served as a catalyst for regional development and deeper integration within Europe.
Broad generalizations about “Belt and Road projects,” whether positive or negative, are not particularly helpful and could even be dangerous when formulating policy. A more successful approach is likely to involve nuanced and localized policies in the same way that China has adopted localized approaches to infrastructure investment under the BRI umbrella.
The political damage Chinese investment in the CEE has created for the EU is already visible in its inability to act cohesively vis-à-vis China on trademark foreign policy issues, namely upholding the international rule of law and protecting human rights.
On November 30th the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosted "Hydrogen and Green Shipping: Zero Emission Fuel in the Maritime Sector" to discuss the important role that hydrogen fuel technology could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future.
Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe are raising concerns about transparency and accountability, but for now, the risks are relatively manageable given the modest scope of investment.
Premier Li sees the region as key to Belt and Road push
At the onset of Beijing’s sixth 16+1 forum, China’s involvement with Central and Eastern Europe under the Belt and Road is beginning to take shape. Results on the ground have proven mixed so far, and a more nuanced local picture is slowly emerging; with some reasons for concerns but also much reassurance provided.
Beijing’s star is rising in central and eastern European nations,” reports the Financial Times
Three Americans walk the historic silk road from Xi’an to Istanbul to examine globalization and the dissemination of people, products, and ideas along the largest network of trading routes in the ancient world.
The magnitude of the Balkan Silk Road project poses a mixture of opportunities and policy challenges for countries engaging in or seeking to benefit from its implementation.
Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions. In the seventh part of this series, we asked a group of experts to comment on China's growing infrastructure investment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
In China, where high-speed rail and brand-new highways are visibly transforming the lives of workers and families, the potential of the Belt and road is apparent. However, outside of China, the BRI remains largely hype for now.
Follow three young explorers from Venice to Beijing as they study how ancient trading routes are being reshaped by China's Rise.
The inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway has opened the possibility of a southern route for trade between China and Europe.
CSIS's leading regional experts discuss how the ambitious connectivity visions of regional powers across Eurasia could re-shape the future of the super-continent.
As Central and Eastern European countries face a tough choice between deeper integration or political marginalization within the European Union, many are questioning whether China's Belt and Road Initiative can help them escape the risks of periphery or marginalization.
“For years to come, OBOR looks likely to be the toast of Western boardrooms.”
Japanese international freight forwarder Nippon Express is poised to expand rail services between Europe and Asia to take advantage of anticipated trade hikes from China's Belt and Road Initiative.
The news is full these days of “historic” train links between China and Europe. But these powerful symbols aren’t always what they seem. A closer look cautions against declaring that the Silk Road is ba
During a recent trip to Europe and Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed a pro-globalization message.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Railway companies in China are experiencing a boost thanks to growing demand, Nikkei reports. The rise in stocks is attributed to increased market shares in Europe and Australia and the announcement of a new rail line that will link Beijing to Tianjin in China.
What is new about China's Belt and Road is that it is more likely to succeed outside of Eurasia, leading to new opportunities but also unexpected challenges for Europe and the United States.