"Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative(2017)" was published
In 2017, the newly book written by Prof. Liu Zuokui(http://ies.cass.cn/english/English_cv/201412/t20141215_2463491.shtml): Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative (2017) was just published by the China Social Sciences Press.
The book is sponsored by the Research Fund on China-Central and Eastern Europe Relation.
The book is awarded as 2016 Outstanding National Think Tank Report of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and 2017 Significant Achievement of Scientific Research in Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Special thanks are given to the Belt and Road Special Project Fund of National Development and Reform Commission of China, National Social Science Fund of China for their full support.
This book mainly analyzes the responses to the Belt and Road initiative from EU institutions and European elites and the risks of this initiative in Europe. It is the successive volume of the 2015 version of the book “Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative” written by the author. This book is made up of four parts: the first part is about the responses to the Belt and Road Initiative from EU institutions and European countries; the second part is the survey on European elites’ opinions on the Belt and Road initiative; the third part is about the risks on the layout and construction of the Belt and Road initiative; the fourth part is the policy suggestions on the construction of the Belt and Road initiative in Europe.
The First Part: When China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, EU institutions experienced from “waiting and seeing ”at the initial stage to gradually involving afterwards, however, its suspicion to the initiative still existed. As far as European countries concerned, generally speaking, the Central and Eastern European countries are active and the Western European countries are not active; the EU members are active and the EU institutions are not so active; the official attitude from the EU looks active and the implementation is not so active. The EU’s screening on the construction of the Hungary-Serbia Railway testified its suspicious feelings. The most optimistic and active supporters to the Belt and Road initiative are from Central and Eastern European countries. After “the Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation held in 14 and 15 May in 2017, most of the Central and Eastern European countries signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on the Belt and Road initiative with China. In spite of some misunderstandings existing in these countries, the general situation is favorable.
The Second Part: It is the second time for the author to conduct the survey on European elites’ opinions on the Belt and Road initiative after 2015. Comparing to 2015, it can be concluded in the 2017 survey that, European elites’ understanding of the Belt and Road initiative is basically accurate and objective, but lacking of full knowledge of some subjects; The elites attach more importance to the China-EU cooperation mechanism, especially to the special international coordinating mechanism when both sides promoting the cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road initiative; The elites also show comprehensive concerns on the People to People exchange within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative among which the most important three aspects including Policy Coordination, Facilities Connection and People to People Exchange. When talking about the infrastructure construction cooperation, the elites argue that the synergies with different initiatives are most difficult, and at the same time, whether the level of China’s infrastructure construction capacities could reach the EU standard is also a challenge. What’s more, the standards and regulations’ mutual recognition between China and EU is an another trouble. More than one half of the elites think that, up to now, the effect of the promotion of trade and investment between China and EU is relatively good. “Limited areas of trade and unbalanced trade structure” and “certain investment and trade barriers” are the main two challenges facing by both sides; Elites still hold the high expectations towards Chinese financial institutions and take a very obvious low expectation towards some multilateral international financial agencies such as World Bank and Asian Development Bank when promoting the China EU infrastructure construction.
The Third Part: the book analyzes the risks of the Belt and Road initiative in Europe from the dimensions of general international situations and case studies. The general international risks include: the unstable risks of the EU, populism and trade protectionism prevail increasingly in Europe and the US, the mutual sanctions between Europe and Russia impedes the Eurasian trade’s inter-connectivity, the Ukraine Crisis triggered the Geopolitical conflicts of Eurasia, the problems of immigration and refugees haunt Europe and the Balkans, the competition between Road Transport and Sea Transport, the competition between China and Russia on the construction of Eurasian corridors, and possible ideological confrontations between China and EU. The case studies include: the risks of media’ misguiding--the cooperation between Chengdu and Lodz, the risks of enterprise’ ill-management-- Liugong’s acquisition to HSW, the risks of blindly entering to the market--the construction of Poland A2 highway, the risks of EU’s interference--China’s enterprise’ building of Hungary-Serbia railway, the risks of blindly competitions--the China-Europe Express, and the risks of political turbulence--COSCO’s acquisition to Piraeus Port of Greece. The book also use the Changhong Czech as an example to show the importance of localization.
The Fourth Part: this part is about the policy suggestions. It emphasizes that, Firstly, we should adopt a reasonable and proper way to deal with the European countries’ responses, especially some negative responses. Secondly, pragmatically and objectively dealing with the EU’s screening on the Belt and Road project. Thirdly, it is very necessary to promote the profound and reasonable publicity of the Belt and Road initiative. Fourthly, grasping properly the principles of dealing with the crises and risks. Fifthly, ensuring to take specific but not general measures, one country one policy, one problem one solution to mange the risks.