Summary of Systemic Rivalry and Balancing Interests

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  • Overview


China’s Belt and Road initiative could benefit the European Union and other global partners. But as this technical analysis from researchers Steven Blockmans and Weinian Hu shows, the EU has warily heightened its vigilance with respect to Chinese foreign direct investment in the euro area. The risk is that such caution could lead to protectionism rather than economic collaboration. Executives, investors and students of geopolitical affairs will find this an invaluable briefing.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How China is attempting to expand its economic influence;

  • Why the European Union is contesting China’s Belt and Road Initiative; and

  • Why cooperation between China and the EU is preferable to confrontation.


About the Authors

Steven Blockmans and Weinian Hu are with the Centre for European Policy Studies.



After years of looking inward, China is seeking greater influence in global matters, embodied most recently in its Belt and Road initiative. China’s ascent is not without its problems, however. Worries over theft of intellectual property, risks to national security and corporate espionage mar its reputation in Europe.

Even as wary European Union officials adopt greater oversight on inflows of foreign direct investment, they are taking a nuanced perspective. The prevailing view is that China is a formidable competitor with an approach to corporate governance...

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