Impacts of the new Silk Road on Eastern European countries

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Press
China’s rise of economic power is moving towards the next step. With the “New Silk Road” or the so called ”Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) China aims not only on strengthening its international influence on economics but also on politics and culture in the countries they are investing. In this respect, countries in Central and Eastern Europe are of special interest for China. As a gateway to Western Europe, the political influence of China in those countries can strengthen Chinas position against the European Union. To examine this phenomenon the author studied the published literature of the last years and analysed the Chinese investments into the single Central and Eastern European countries. He used a catalogue of five criteria and categorized the 17 countries, which participated in the 17+1 initiative with China, according to Chinas involvement in the economic and political sphere of the countries. The outcome of the analyses show, that in some countries the Chinese funded projects develop well. In other countries, the progress of the projects lacked way behind the scheduled time. In six of the 17 countries, no infrastructure investments related to the “New Silk Road” plans could be detected. Furthermore, the study shows, that there is a strong correlation between a China friendly politic in the specific countries and the Chinese activity as well as the funding. This leads to the assumption that the Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe are just the vehicle for strengthening the political and cultural influence in the countries as well as in the European Union.
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One Belt One Road, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China, Influence, 17+1
VI International Scientific Conference: "Challenges of Globalization in Economics and Business", Tbilisi, 2021, pp. 125-133