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The Current Situation and Prospect of Policy Coordination of One Belt One Road between China and EU—Serbian Perspective

Release Time: 2017-08-30 11:58:22   Author:Branislav DJORDJEVIĆ   Source: Viona Lee   View Count:

The Current Situation and Prospect of Policy Coordination of One Belt One Road between China and EUSerbian Perspective

Prof. Branislav DJORDJEVIĆ[1]



Based on the fact that none the economic nor the political strength of the China can be ignored by any of the international relations actors, in the last decade numerous agreements were signed between China and worldwide countries. The European Union, without any doubt, is among those who are not neglecting the strength of China and its influence. Although it is not fond of possible interfering of China within the European relations or even with the possibility that China will build better relations with particularly Western Balkans country, the European Union has limited ground for action. Due to a fact that the EU officials expressed their will to cooperate with China on the basis of the strategic partnership it is evidently that EU has to design such mechanism that will lead to efficient policy coordination of “One Road One Belt Strategy” since this strategy represents solid base for better cooperation and further development of all partners.This article will examine current situation and give foresight of possible policy coordination between China and EU as viewed from Serbian perspective.


Key Words: China, ”One Belt One Road Strategy”, strategic partnership, policy coordination, institutional mechanisms, Serbia



China EU Relations – Origins and Development: from diplomatic relations to strategic partnership


Immediately after its proclamation, People's Republic of China has started to build its image of friendly nation by setting up diplomatic relations with worldwide countries. Among those countries were also the member states of then European Economic Community (Great Britain 1950, France 1964, the remaining four in 1975). With EEC relations were established in 1975. In that year first Chinese ambassador was accredited to the EEC.[2] Very soon, in 1983 mission of Chinese ambassador were extended to European Steel and Coal Community (ECSC and EURATOM).

That moment stands for corner stone for developing relations and cooperation between China and then European Community. In the same year the Commission and the Chinese authorities agreed to hold regular ministerial-level meetings to discuss all aspects of EEC-China relations[3]. Moreover, ministerial-level consultations between the Chinese authorities and the Community in the context of political cooperation started in 1984. Contractual links in the shape of a trade agreement were established in April 1978 and then strengthened in 1985 with the signing of a Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement[4]. The agreement was initially concluded for five years and with possibility to be automatically renewable on an annual basis.

This agreement, by its type, can be considered “an open agreement which does not exclude any form of economic cooperation falling within the Communities sphere of competence. Sectors covered in the initial stage include industry, mining, agriculture, science and technology, energy, transport and communications, environmental protection and cooperation in other countries. Proposed cooperation activities include joint ventures, the exchange of economic information, contacts between business people, seminars, technical assistance and investment promotion.”[5]

Along with Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, Joint Committee was founded. This Committee was entitled to meet once a year with a task to overview development of all aspects of economic relations and other relations that are envisaged in the framework of cooperation programme.

Finally, on October 5th 1988, Commission formally opened its office in Beijing. This act can be seen not solely as readiness of the European Community to foster further economic development in China under its development programme or confirmation of its willingness to look at the possibility of increasing and diversifying such operations, but even more as the intention to make Joint Committee functional.

Ministerial-level consultations in the context of political cooperation in 1994 have been transformed to political dialogue. On that course since 1997 annual summits has been organized alternately in Brussels and Beijing.

In the forthcoming period of 1995 till nowadays the EU has adopted acts on strategy towards China. Among those acts it is not easy to determine which significance is bigger. With first one, 1995, “long term relationship[6]” was introduced, in 1998 “a comprehensive partnership”[7] was presented, then the time has come for “a maturing partnership”[8] (2003), to be followed by “a strategic and enduring relationship”[9] (2005). At that point relation that had begun as purely diplomatic grew to highest point, to strategic partnership.

Considering decades of mutually satisfying cooperation this outcome to maturing partnership that incorporates “shared interests and challenges” hardly could surprise one. Each partner recognizes long-term interests and decided to nourish them.

At the same time, both partners are aware of their significant differences. In spite of globalization and its driven forces, China is persistent in maintaining international system of the United Nations based on respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty while the EU is eager to neglect those principles in favor of, often very controversial, protection of human rights. So far, EU politicians acted with wisdom and put aside certain human rights issues.

As it can be assumed, in EU there are also those who are opponents to partnership with China. Their main argument is that China is not strategic partner but “strategic competitor” which is syntax of George W. Bush who considers EU ties with China as “naive and non–realistic”[10]. Maybe George W. Bush didn’t get wrong impression marking China as competitor, but referring to China – EU relations as naive and non-realistic is far from a truth. Position and importance that China has in contemporary international relations is such that bilateral agreements with this country out to be considered only as an advantage.

Nevertheless, China is important for EU and its tendency is to develop cooperation both in the fields of economy, trade and politics. One of the signals of such tendency is EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.[11]

That importance is based on several facts.

First, China approved to be the second largest economy and now also the world's biggest trading nation. China's growth in 2013 was 7.7 %, and that data iave an impetus to predictions that China may become the world’s biggest economy within the next 10 years, with an internal market of 1.39 billion potential consumers by the end of 2015.[12]

Second, two decades ago, China and the EU traded almost nothing but today they are trading more than €1 billion every day and thus form the second-largest economic cooperation in the world.[13]

Third, “China has become one of the fastest growing markets for European exports. In 2013 EU exports to China increased by 2.9% to reach a record € 148.1 billion. EU exports have nearly doubled in the past five years, contributing to rebalancing the relationship.”[14] From the other hand, China is the EU's biggest supplier, with € 279.9 billion worth of imported goods in 2013 (down by 4% or 11.7 billion compared to 2012). Result of this is trade deficit of €131.8 billion with China in the same year, down by 10.7% compared to 2012, and down by 22.5% compared to the 2010 record of €170.1 billion.[15]

In the long term, China’s importance as a strategic market for EU can only increase and therefore deepening of their cooperation is inevitable.


One Belt, One Road Strategy and its impact to EU – China relations


Whenever partnership involves strong, highly competitive partners, dynamic evolution of their relations is inevitable. In case of partnership of China and EU, each partner was aware of its advantages and disadvantages. That awareness has been materialized by introducing of the new policies and new documents aiming to improve not only the quality of their mutual relations but even internal trade, commerce and overall economic structure of each of them.

Since the relations between EU, then EEC, and China have been established, both entities have experienced big changes and transformations. All these changes affected to relations as well.

During the entire period of building and performing the cooperation, both China and EU were highly interested in developing of their mutual relations.[16] In spite of globalized world and its, frequently not so favorable, driven forces, two of them succeed “to replace methods of geopolitics with methods of geoeconomics”[17]. Each of them considers the other as one of the main economic partners. As we seen before, for China, EU stands for the biggest economic partner. For China, the EU market is the biggest export market and one of the biggest sources of foreign investments. Parallel with that, for EU China is the fastest growing market.

Of course, at the same time their relations were marked with certain frictions. Main of them were in relation to high surplus in mutual trade, high competiveness of Chinese products in the EU market as well to the Chinese quest for energy sources in those parts of the world that “Old Europe countries” traditionally considers as its own (for example, Middle East and Africa).

Nevertheless, both sides have created numerous mechanisms for solving issues that occurred.

The most of issues are overcome through dialogue that never effects to economic relations. It is interesting that EU and China manage to avoid negative measures and methods such as sanctions, limitations, etc.

That is why announcement of the One Belt, One Road Strategy, announced by Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China, were met with skepticism. One should jump to a conclusion that one side of the medal is when someone has core role in its own yard, but tendency to climb over the fence is the opposite.

The One Belt, One Road Strategy represents the plan that consists of land and maritime routes that start at Central and Eastern China and end in Venice, passing through Asia, Africa and Europe and all the seas and ocean along the way: outside of China the whole Silk Road spans three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa. Namely, the Economic Belt contains Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Russia, Europe (including the Baltic Sea), the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea while the 21st century Maritime Silk Road embraces harbors along China’s coasts, the South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and Europe.

As financiers of this project the new institutions were forth seen – Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund, as well certain new mechanism that is still to be established. These mechanisms will be supervised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization[18].

At the beginning, China will allocate for this purpose initial capitalization of 50 billion dollars through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with, as well as the Silk Road Fund – the new infrastructure and trade finance mechanism – with a capitalization of 40 billion dollars. For Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected to attract additional 50 billion dollars from private lenders. State Council will provide about 65 percent to Silk Road Fund, while the rest of that i.e. 15 percent will come from the National Development Fund and two state banks – 15 percent from the Exim Bank, and 5 percent from the China Development Bank, with the possibility of its extension if necessary.[19]

It is important to bear on mind that, when announcing the construction of Silk Road, the Chinese president Xi Jinping pointed out the five elements as goals or mile stones that should be achieved in order to reach full co-operation between the countries participating in the project. First element is the improvement of political communication that would harmonize development strategies in the common interest of all countries. Second represents the need to improve transport infrastructure that would help to facilitate the possibility of further economic development. Third element are principles of free trade which would led to the elimination of trade barriers, reducing investment costs and improving quality and accelerating economic trends on the potential market of nearly three billion people. Fourth is the introduction of local currencies as a convertible for the completion of transactions among members, while fifth represents an increase of people to people cultural integration through better integration of all involved in process.

After this short but substantial overview of the Silk Road Strategy, it is time to refer to EU's view towards this strategy.

As mentioned above, EU has issued strategic document on cooperation with China until 2020. In spite of that, from the standing point of a viewer, which in this particular case is Serbia, it seems that implementation of the Silk Road or One Belt, One Road Strategy could affect relations between Europe and China.

First, it is important the underline that of vital importance for successful implementation of Silk Strategy in the area of the Central and Eastern European Countries is fact that Strategy has been launched in period when Europe was coping (and still is) with deep economic crisis. This is the only reason why loud voices against Strategy were missing. The fear of low standard life was bigger than fear of growing Chinese presence into own court yard. It seems that opposing opinions and SWAP analysis were crucial reasons for ceasing the hostile environment towards the cooperation of CEE countries with China.

However, this does not prevent officials from Brussels to look with skepticism and concern the Mechanism for cooperation between China and the CEE countries (China + 16), seeing it as one more in a series of Chinese attempts to enter into the European Union through the back door and divide it to the East and West. Obviously, the double standards exist in such a view, bearing in mind that most of the old member states have for decades developed political and economic cooperation with Beijing (Council of the European Union, 2014). Therefore, it is necessary to inject new life into the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting), which has worked for many years and can be an important platform for the new Silk Road which will serve as a communication channel between China and the EU, and between China and CEE countries. It would be a good choice to push forward the creation of the Silk Road because it represents a diverse and flexible platform for communication. If one takes into account that negotiations on the signing of a single bilateral agreement on investment have begun at the end of March 2014 instead of the previous 25 agreements between individual Member States and China (Croatia and Ireland do not have a bilateral agreement on investment with China, while Belgium and Luxembourg have single one), a more synergetic approach between the policies of the European Union and the Chinese initiative on building “Silk Road Economic Belt” could be achieved.[20]

At the same time, while promoting the Piraeus port as the main hub that connects the Chinese factories with consumers across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, China directly threatens several ports: Rotterdam, Istanbul, Naples, Trieste, Rijeka and Koper, which have since recorded a reduced turnover. Former Greek Premier Antonis Samaras is abundantly clear that Greece will give a “support and actively participate in building a ’21 century maritime silk road’, which was submitted by China”[21]. However, the arrival of a new party, Syriza, to power prevented the further privatization of the Piraeus port, which is supported by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The new government, with Alexis Tsipras at the head, pulled the offer to sell the remaining 67 percent of the port, worth 908 million dollars, to which several companies competed: China’s COSCO Holding Co., Danish APM Terminals, American Ports America Inc., Philippine International Container Terminal Services Inc., as well as the Cartesian Capital Group and Utilico Emerging Markets Ltd. Of all of them most likely to become the owner was the Chinese company, which already owns 33 percent of the port.[22] In addition to the announcement that further privatization of the Piraeus port will not continue, the new government has stated that there will be no privatization of the port of Thessaloniki either, for which the Chinese have also been interested. In a situation where a coalition includes parties with different views on this issue and without the possibility of achieving consensus the Minister of shipping and maritime affairs happens to be one who is against further privatization of ports. However, during the negotiations with the Troika the new Greek government is increasingly starting to make concessions in contrast to its hardline position so it is quite probable that the position of the Minister of shipping and maritime affairs will be changed. Ministers of finance development and competition have softer positions on this issue and it seems, according to some official statements, they will still continue with privatization, especially if the economic stakes are higher (China Daily, 31 January 2015). The latest statements by Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis that the privatization of the Piraeus port has not been interrupted and will continue after a short delay, which occurred due to changes in the board of directors of a public institution that owns all the shares of the harbor, speaks in favor of it. At the same time, he also confirmed that the new government is giving full support to the “One belt, one road” initiative and its passage through not only Greece, but also through other parts of Europe[23] The problem that China is facing not just about whether it will become the owner of a complete Piraeus port, but that many possible changes of government and the instability of some countries may cause a delay of silk road construction and whether it will therefore always have to have alternatives in reserve. Will China in the coming period still need to focus its attention on the purchase of another port, such as Koper or Rijeka if they reach a good deal, or will the issue be finally resolved by purchasing the remaining 67 percent of the Piraeus port COSCO remains to be seen.


Serbian view on policy coordination between EU and China within a scope of “One Belt, One Road Strategy”


Although in terms of geographic, Serbia is considered as small country, due its geostrategic position, since the very beginning of its statehood, being on crossroads of the East and West, Serbia always had been of crucial importance for all then major international actors. Very often Serbia was even requested to choose side but no matter to cost, Serbia always remained faithful to the principles of the respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and dignity in the international relations. In that light, Serbia always nourishes bilateral relations with traditionally friendly countries such China is. Serbia and China are sharing same values and are interested in further development of bilateral relations based on mutual interests.

It is not difficult to understand why Serbia immediately after the launching the Silk Road Strategy warmly welcomed it. Suddenly, the chance for changing a position – from subordinate to partner has emerged.

As not often in modern history, Serbia got an opportunity to discuss unconditionally about development projects and investments. China’s generous offer for countries interested in joining the Silk Road was consist of more attractive cooperation proposals than those offered by the U.S or the EU. Unlikely of last two, in the case of China there was no so called behind story.

From the other hand, what was opportunity for Serbia, the EU considered as a possible threat for its position. Namely, Serbia is a candidate country for membership in the EU, but also member of CEFTA[24] and country that has trade preferences with Russia. Ergo, with its presence in Serbia, China will gain better position towards even three markets. As can be assumed, Serbia experienced (occasionally it still does) different types of pressure aiming to lose its ties with China. Following rhetoric as usual was mentioning “the European way” and “the European values”.

Fortunately, partially due to a fact that all Central and Eastern European countries are interested in cooperation with China, partially due to awareness of the lack of fresh money and capital, Brussels gradually changes its position from criticism to cooperation. Finally, it is better to participate in the coordination of 16+ processes then simply to observe it.

Starting points in developing policy of cooperation could be two important facts. First, unlikely the USA, the European Union member states consider Taiwan as integral part of China. Second, again unlikely the USA, none of the European countries is interested neither military nor strategically for presence in Eastern Asia. As the matter of fact, on that basis relations with China grew to strategic partnership.

It looks like that joint coordination is inevitable and that it will be directed towards mutual expansion of market in order not only to introduce new products but also to create environment for new investments. Both new products and fresh investments eventually will introduce higher standards in technology of production and improve quality of goods. The EU will have a chance to give an impetus to its, by crisis weakened, economy to attract capital, to access to more affordable labor market and to new sources for innovations. It will get the opportunity to open new positions, to cut down the unemployment rate and to ensure expansion of export.

From the perspective of the CEE countries, the announced fund of 10 billion dollars is significant amount of money that will, after completion of all planned infrastructure investments, bring even bigger amounts through transportation and flow of people, goods and capital. Each of these countries, Serbia among them, is dedicated to use this opportunity and make the implementation of this strategy as faster as it can be. Each country prepared projects and engaged experts in other to facilitate its implementation. In that sense, of the biggest importance are the infrastructure projects that will multiple beneficial for all partners involved. Building the bridges, modernization of railways, construction of new roads, investment in ports – those are just few of many other significant and valuable projects.

Still, each of these countries has similar concerns: challenges imposed by globalized world, unsafety caused by possible conflicts and different types of crisis. From that aspect, CEE countries seek support from the European Union that, in past decades, evolve from “economic giant but political dwarf” to significant actor of overall international relations. Security aspect should be seriously treated because of the emerging security threats of different nature. This is also one of the area in which cooperation of China and EU MUST be developed.

Sine qua non for successful implementation of One Belt, One Road Strategy is both the existence and implementation of operational institutional mechanisms that will contribute the creation of environment suitable for further development of relations but also will help in case that certain dispute appear.

Only proactive approach will have a power to ensure and to extending economic benefits to all partners involved. That means not only that their national interests will be fulfilled but also the interests of all countries in general. This will be ensured through making connections between each individual national development project through the wider regional vision. Again sine qua non is coordination of their policies, national goals and interests.

China strives for much ambitious goal. It includes creation of the free trade areas (bilateral and regional) and a wider financial integration underpinned by the bilateral currency swap agreements. The basic goal, as stated at 2015 BOAO forum[25] is ‘promoting orderly and free flow of economic factors, highly efficient allocation of resources and deep integration of markets; encouraging the countries along the Belt and Road to achieve economic policy coordination and carry out broader and more in-depth regional cooperation of higher standards; and jointly creating an open, inclusive and balanced regional economic cooperation architecture that benefits all’.




This year 40th anniversary of establishing relations between China and the European Union has been celebrated. For four decades the two of them have passed a long journey, on which they succeed to overcome different obstacles and to become biggest trading partners. With announcing the “One Belt, One Road” or new Silk Road Strategy their mutual relations were faced to new challenge which successful dealing with could bring them to a new phase. Recently presented Strategic agenda for EU-China cooperation 2020, which specified targets of increased mutual trade of up to 1,000 billion dollars before the end of the decade, is just one more reason why it is necessary to accelerate the construction of the land and maritime routes. During 2015 BOAO forum, the China’s National Development and Reform Commission published action plan[26] for 'One Belt, One Road' project, in coordination with Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce, and has stated that the project “is expected to change the world political and economic landscape through development of countries along the routes, most of which are eager for fresh growth”.

When it comes to the project realization itself it will be implemented in stages and most likely with a combination of many models and with a focus on different strategic priorities of the various parties. The reason for this is the large differences that exist between the countries through which it should pass, so China as the initiator of the project is under an obligation to ensure close cooperation and coordination of all participants. Even though it is understood as a primarily infrastructure project since the underdeveloped road, rails and ports represent a bottleneck that inhibits further economic cooperation, 'One Belt, One Road' represents the Chinese vision of 'infrastructure network (transport, energy and communication) that should connect all Asian sub-regions and also the three continents - Asia, Europe and Africa’. For the project to be completed in optimal period Beijing is encouraging Chinese banks to lend to the countries that are on the way of ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, and along the ’21 Century Maritime Silk Road’. It has already promised 1.4 billion dollars or infrastructure in Sri Lanka, over 50 billion dollars for infrastructure and energy in Central Asia (30 billion dollars for Kazakhstan, 15 billion dollars for Uzbekistan, 8 billion dollars for Turkmenistan and 1 billion dollars for Tajikistan), 327 million dollars for general assistance to Afghanistan, over 10 billion dollars for Central and Eastern Europe, etc. This money will be used for the construction of railway lines, highways, conservation of water reservoirs, power facilities. With the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Banks more money will be directed into infrastructure projects. Chinese Times estimates that astronomical 21.1 trillion dollars could be spent for the new Silk Road.

As one can guess, this project can be successful only if all partners involved are dedicated to its fulfillment. Complete fulfillment depends on policy coordination based on mutual trust and unconditional devotion.



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“EEC-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement”, Council Regulation (EEC) No 2616/85 of 16 September 1985, EUR-Lex, Internet, http://eur, accessed on July 25th, 2015.

EU – China Cooperation Plan in Agriculture and Rural Development

Babić B., Odnosi Kine i Evropske unije: geoekonomska osovina u razvoju, Medjunarodni problemi 3, 2010, Institut za me]unarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd, str. 418–462.

China and Europe: Opportunities or Dangers? Odd Arne Westad, London School of Economics

China, Europe and International Security: Interests, Roles, and Prospects, edited by Frans-Paul van der Putten, Chu Shulong

China, Europe and the Maritime Silk Road Frans-Paul van der Putten Minke Meijnders, Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael

China–EU cooperation shifts from symbolic to pragmatic, Silvia Menegazzi, LUISS

China-Europe Relations Implications and Policy Responses for the United States, Bates Gill and Melissa Murphy

China's Xi: Trade between China and Silk Road nations to exceed $2.5 trillion, March 29, 2015 Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

Competition and Cooperation between Europe and China in the Wind Power Sector, Rasmus Lema, Axel Berger, Hubert Schmitz and Hong Song, Institute of Development Studies

EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, Internet,, accessed July 25, 2015.

EU-China Smart and Green City Cooperation Comparative Study of Smart Cities in Europe and China, DG CNECT, EU Commission and China Academy of Telecommunications Research (CATR)

Europe – China Cultural Compass, European Union National Institutes for Culture,

Facts and figures on EU-China trade, Internet,

Frans-Paul van der Putten, Minke Meijnders, “China, Europe and the Maritime Silk Road”, Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

Joint Statement: Deepening the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, European Commission, Brussels, 31 March 2014, Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

Liu Zuokui, “The Role of Central and Eastern Europe in the Building of Silk Road Economic Belt”, September 18, 2014, China Institute of European Studies, Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

Mercantilist Misconceptions: A Détente Strategy for EU-China Relations, Fredrik Erixon, European Centre for International Political Economy

NiCE project report on EU-China cooperation, Manchester City Council, Eurocities

Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Internet,, accessed August 2nd, 2015.Justyna Szczudlik-Tatar, ““One Belt, One Road”: Mapping China’s New Diplomatic Strategy”, No. 67 (799), 2 July 2015, The Polish Institute of International Affairs, Internet,, accessed on August 2nd, 2015.

The China-EU strategic partnership on development: unfulfilled potential, Sven Grimm, European Strategic Partnerships Observatory

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[1] Prof. Branislav Djordjević, Director of Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade.

[2] “Development of EEC-China relations”, European Commission, Internet,, accessed on July 25th, 2015.

[3] Babić B., Odnosi Kine i Evropske unije: geoekonomska osovina u razvoju, Medjunarodni problemi 3, 2010, Institut za me]unarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd, str. 431.

[4] “EEC-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement”, Council Regulation (EEC) No 2616/85 of 16 September 1985, EUR-Lex, Internet, http://eur, accessed on July 25th, 2015.

[5] “Development of EEC-China relations”, op. cit.

[6] Xiudian Dai, “Understanding EU-China Relations: An Uncertain Partnership in the Making”, Research Paper 1/2006,ISSN No. 0968 9281, Centre for European Union Studies, The University of Hull, Internet,, accessed on July 27th, 2015.

[7] Ibidem.

[8] Ibidem.

[9] Ibidem.

[10] More in: Xiudian Dai, “Understanding EU-China Relations: An Uncertain Partnership in the Making”

[11] EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, Internet,, accessed July 25, 2015.

[12]Facts and figures on EU-China trade, Internet,

[13] Ibidem.

[14] Ibidem.

[15] Ibidem.

[16] Babić B., op. cit, p. 440.

[17] Ibidem.

[18] Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Internet,, accessed August 2nd, 2015.

[19] Justyna Szczudlik-Tatar, ““One Belt, One Road”:  Mapping China’s New Diplomatic Strategy”, No. 67 (799), 2 July 2015,  The Polish Institute of International Affairs, Internet,, accessed on August 2nd, 2015.

[20]Joint Statement: Deepening the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit,  European Commission, Brussels, 31 March 2014, Internet,,  accessed on August 5th, 2015.

[21] Liu Zuokui, “The Role of Central and Eastern Europe in the Building of Silk Road Economic Belt”, September 18, 2014, China Institute of European Studies, Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

[22] Frans-Paul van der Putten, Minke Meijnders, “China, Europe and the Maritime Silk Road”,  Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

[23] China's Xi: Trade between China and Silk Road nations to exceed $2.5 trillion, March 29, 2015 Internet,, accessed on August 5th, 2015.

[24] Central European Free Trade Agreement was concluded in 2006 and gathered following parties:  Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. See more at:

[25] Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015, Internet,, accessed August 3rd, 2015.

[26] Full text: Report on China's economic, social development plan, National Development and Reform Commission, March 19, 2015, Internet,, accessed on August 4th, 2015.

From Huang Ping, Liu Zuokui, eds., China-CEEC Cooperation and the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2016.