Officially announced by Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has since become the centrepiece of China’s economic diplomacy. It is a commitment to ease bottlenecks to Eurasian trade by improving and building networks of connectivity across Central and Western Asia, where the BRI aims to act as a bond for the projects of regional cooperation and integration already in progress in Southern Asia. But it also reaches out to the Middle East as well as East and North Africa, a truly strategic area where the Belt joins the Road. Europe, the end-point of the New Silk Roads, both by land and by sea, is the ultimate geographic destination and political partner in the BRI. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the BRI, its logic, rationale and implications for international economic and political relations.
Alessia Amighini is Senior Associate Research Fellow and Co-Head of Asia Programme at ISPI. Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Piemonte Orientale and Catholic University of Milan.