China’s New Silk Road and its implications for European integration

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Oriol Nierga Llandrich
4. semester, Udviklingsstudier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The intent of this thesis is to discuss the consequences of the development of the Chinese New Silk Road for European integration. This initiative was launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, and aims to consolidate the role of China as a global power as well as to address some of its most important internal and external challenges.
The New Silk Road, also known as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR), plans to foster trade and strengthen economic ties between the Middle Kingdom and Europe by integrating markets and knitting a vast net of infrastructures -including seaports, airports, railways and pipelines-, in Eurasia and some African regions. Because of its magnitude, the New Silk Road will have major political, economic and security implications for all those countries involved in it and even beyond. Therefore, and given the uncertainty surrounding this project, it is necessary a constant research on the consequences that its development may entail in several areas.
Chinese authorities claim that this project is intended to be mutually beneficial for all participating countries, and some experts predict that it will be especially positive for European economies, since it is expected to increase trade, investment and facilitate access to new markets, as well as to improve connectivity by creating and modernising infrastructures. However, others believe that the New Silk Road will be a platform to allow Beijing to increase its influence in the Old Continent and add centrifugal forces to the EU by spurring competition among Member States. This MA Thesis argues that there is room for Europe to gain from the development of this initiative. However, the EU and its Member States should not underestimate the challenges posed by the New Silk Road and they should reach a common and convincing position to use all their bargaining power to be able to reach better agreements with China at the negotiating table.
To analyse the repercussions of the New Silk Road to European integration this research applies and tests Liberal Intergovernmentalism, a theoretical framework developed by Andrew Moravcsik in the 1990s and designed to explain the dynamics behind regional integration processes. This theory allows the research to focus on the national dynamics behind the attitudes of Member States towards the EU and investigate the possibility to reach such unified European response to the New Silk Road.
Udgivelsesdato31 jul. 2017
Antal sider77
ID: 261130614