China is set to host representatives from 17 Central and Eastern European countries for its latest "17+1" summit on February 9, 2020. What is the significance of this unique regional grouping? This collection of CSIS analysis explains the initiative's development and its significance for the region since its announcement in 2012.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
This report examines Chinese economic activities in Serbia to shed light on China’s political and economic objectives, its mechanisms for influence, and the implications of its activities, including a second wave of digital infrastructure projects.
This report assesses Chinese economic activities in the Western Balkans based on open-source data collected by CSIS and identifies key trends and China’s main avenues of influence.
European firms seeking to participate in China's Belt and Road Initiative face rising hurdles while Chinese state-owned companies are successfully pricing out their European competitors... A push for greater transparency and reciprocity along the BRI could help level the playing field.
The European Union has decided to endorse limits on "high risk" suppliers of 5G equipment, a decision largely targeted at the Chinese technology company Huawei, Nikkei reports.
The European Chamber describes the role of European business in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), suggests ways the initiative can become more inclusive, and recommends areas where the EU can both complement the BRI and develop its own connectivity strategy into a credible alternative.
French president Emmanuel Macron will meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Shanghai ahead of the China International Import Expo. His visit follows the announcement of a new EU investment screening framework designed to shield European technology and infrastructure from growing Chinese influence.
This new report by the Rhodium Group and Mercator Institute for China Studies takes stock of Europe’s toolkit for responding to market distortions spilling over from growing Chinese investment and other commercial linkages with Europe.
The signing of an MoU during a March 22-24 by Chinese president Xi Jinping has made Italy the first G7 nation to join China's sprawling Belt and Road Initiative, but Rome will be wise to devote sustained long-term resources to the negotiation, implementation, and follow-up of whatever comes out of these memoranda to avoid the mistakes of other BRI partners.
China's Belt and Road (BRI) has taken a beating, but its central feature of big infrastructure projects will remain recognizable for years to come.
Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl expressed concern over China's economic inroads in Europe that have now brought Italy, a G7 power, into the Belt and Road club. Kneissl said the rest of the European Union must recognize the risks and deal with Beijing's expansionist wallet diplomacy, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
The European Union's recently adjusted China policy describes Beijing as a "systemic competitor." Yet from Greece to Italy, China's Belt & Road infrastructure investments, and the political influence these afford China, undermine efforts to build a European consensus on China, reports Nikkei.
The European Union has opted to let each member nation decide whether to use equipment from China's Huawei Technologies, snubbing American demands to keep the company out of high-speed 5G networks. Brussels calls for security measures but lets each member choose 5G suppliers, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
China Communications Construction has signed an agreement to operate the northern Italian port of Trieste. Combined with Piraeus in Greece, Sines in Portugal and Valencia in Spain it could form a new Chinese-controlled logistics network capable of redesigning Europe's industrial chains, reports Nikkei.
Italy is preparing to become the first of the G7 group of industrialized nations to endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative, but what does this mean? James Kynge, the FT’s global China editor, looks at the main implications citing data collected by the Reconnecting Asia Project.
Taking effect Friday, The economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union incorporates wide-ranging regulations on data transfer and intellectual property protection. The trade deal could help establish precedent for the digital field, Nikkei reports.
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 Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the European Investment Bank will collaborate to extend loans for infrastructure projects in the Middle East and Africa, in an apparent effort to offer an alternative model to China's Belt and Road Initiative and U.S. protectionism, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
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.
The European Commission has announced "The European Way to Connectivity," a proposal aimed at boosting Europe's infrastructure links with Asia.
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.
This Friday China will gather 16 Central and Eastern European countries in Sofia, Bulgaria, for the annual China-Central and Eastern European "16+1" summit. As the gathering may help China build a bigger economic and political presence in Europe and exercise its power bilaterally under the cover of a multilateral veneer, it warrants more attention from Brussels and Washington.
"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.
China's President Xi Jinping promised that his Belt and Road Initiative would be a "plan in the sunshine." But the BRI's outlook is darkening as some actual and potential partners raise concerns about transparency, debt sustainability, and even China's underlying strategic aims.
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.
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 has achieved remarkable infrastructure progress in recent years. As the Chinese say, if you want to develop, build the road first; and as investors say, no infrastructure, no FDI.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
Japan and the European Union have reached a broad economic partnership agreement which could spur negotiators in the region to double their efforts on other ongoing trade deals.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
A new link in the North-South Transport Corridor connecting Russia, Iran, and India could have far-reaching implications for economic patterns between Europe and Asia.