This Policy Report focuses on the overland routes that connect China to Europe via Central Asia and it aims to answer the question whether the European Union (EU) should engage China in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. The expansion of the OBOR initiative is forcing China’s economic diplomacy to embrace a broader political and security engagement. While Russia and the United States are revising their roles in South and Central Asia, the EU has lost momentum.
This Policy Report addresses the need for the EU to:
- adopt a common voice to engage China’s OBOR initiative;
- promote stakeholder participation;
- coordinate crisis prevention; and
- avoid focusing only on short-term economic gains to attract China’s outbound direct investments.
The EU involvement with the OBOR initiative is a defining moment for Sino-European relations. In this respect, China has to:
- communicate a detailed road map on the OBOR initiative;
- allow local economic actors to access the bids for infrastructural projects;
- increase the role of private Chinese SMEs; and
- avoid relying on the OBOR initiative to export industrial overcapacity.
In this regard, the utilisation of the EU social and environmental best practices by Beijing and a renewed EU stance towards a “flexible engagement” with China could be mutually beneficial for fostering regional stabilisation and structural reforms in South and Central Asia.
About the Author
Dr Alessandro Arduino is the co-director of the Security & Crisis Management Program at the Shanghai Academy of Social Science (SASS) and Center for Advanced Studies on Contemporary China (CASCC), Director of the Center for International Relations and Applied Political Studies at Ablai Khan University. He received his PhD from Milan Bicocca University, MSc from University of London SOAS, MA from University of Turin Oriental Studies Department and training by the World Bank Institute. His main research interests include China’s political economics, Sino-Central Asia relations, Sovereign Wealth Funds, China’s security and foreign policy. He is the author of several books and he has published papers and commentaries in various journals in Italian, English, Chinese and Russian languages: ECRAN Europe China Research and Advisory network, EAST Europe Asia Strategies, China Weekly, the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Institute of World Economy and Politics IWEP, Mondo Cinese, Orizzonte Cina T.wai, International Affairs Institute IAI, Italian Financial Police GdF. He has been appointed Knight of the Order of the Italian Star of Solidarity by the President of the Italian Republic.
Central Asia / Country and Region Studies / East Asia and Asia Pacific / Europe / International Political Economy / Policy Reports / Regionalism and Multilateralism
Last updated on 07/03/2016