The focus of this article is to explore ongoing developments in European perceptions of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and how BRI has been gradually influencing Europe in thinking more strategically about its own continental scale and common interests across Eurasia. The New Silk Roads are neither a formal policy nor a clearly defined geographical or geopolitical strategy, but rather an evolving narrative, a feature which has significantly influenced European attitudes towards it. Moreover, European perceptions have been partly shaped by the importance of the EU–China bilateral relation as well as European plans towards Asian connectivity, its developing strategic approach towards Eurasia and, more recently Central Asia, as well as individual national prerogatives across the EU. This is notwithstanding the increasingly important dimension of BRI, promoted by China not just as a source of infrastructure development, but also possibly as a label for future international relations’ exchanges.
The full article is available on China’s World.