De Nieuwe Zijderoute moet China’s internationale positie versterken / The New Silk Road to strengthen China’s international position

De Chinese regering zegt grote plannen te hebben. Met behulp van het Nieuwe Zijderoute (One Belt One Road) initiatief hoopt China zijn economische en politieke invloed te versterken op het Euraziatische continent, alsmede de binnenlandse economie te stimuleren. Ondanks deze ambities heeft Beijing nog geen concrete plannen geformuleerd, en is het onduidelijk of de Zijderoute robuust genoeg is om instabiliteit in Centraal-Azië en het Midden-Oosten te weerstaan. Wat zijn de kansen en risico’s voor Europa en hoe kan het bedrijfsleven het beste inspelen op het Chinese initiatief?

Lees het volledige artikel via deze link: Internationale Spectator, No. 8 ( 2015; jrg. 69).

English summary:

China’s New Silk Road initiative (One Belt One Road), seeks to broaden and deepen China’s economic and political influence on the Eurasian continent as well as stimulate the country’s domestic economy. It is an ambitious strategy that will encompass no less than three continents, almost two-thirds of the world’s population and a third of the world’s Gross National Product. Although China has long been constructing roads and railways on the Eurasian continent, there is more to the New Silk Road plans than presenting ‘old wine in new bottles’. With this initiative, China can gather all projects under one umbrella, allowing for a strategic approach, better financing and foreign involvement.

The article discusses the challenges the Chinese government faces in realizing these plans – e.g. ensuring return on investment; withstanding instability in Central Asia and the Middle East; and overcoming doubts about Chinese intentions and the sustainability of projects – and analyses the positive and negative effects that the Silk Road plans may have on economics and politics in various parts of Europe. The Silk Road initiative will likely lead to more trade and more Chinese investments in Europe, which is a good thing. However, the European side should insist that European companies and investors will get equal access to the Chinese market and, at the level of individual projects, that European companies will be able to participate in projects on an equal footing. European companies and governments should furthermore expect to play a role in ensuring that the Silk Road projects comply with international norms, standards and legislation.

It concludes that if Europe wants to take advantage of the New Silk Road, it should not sit back and wait for project offers from the Chinese side coming its way. European companies and governments will need to take the initiative and develop their own projects. In doing so an open mind, a long-term view and a sharp business instinct are indispensable.

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