The German Institute for International and Security Affairs – Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and the EastWest Institute are pleased to present our expert exchange on "China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its implications for Central Asia" on 27 November 2017.

The aim of China’s Silk Road Initiative is to bolster both its international legitimacy and its geopolitical power. One important element of the initiative is the plan to transport export goods by high-speed train to Western Europe. In order to ensure that rapid freight transit is profitable in the long term, Beijing believes that major changes are needed along the borders of Central Asia. The Chinese government has explicitly called for reforms from its partner countries, including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, meaning greater economic openness, regional cooperation and modern border crossings.

Against this backdrop, Sebastian Schiek (SWP) together with Maurice Fermont (BusinessEurope, tbc) and Najam Abbas (EastWest Institute) will discuss opportunities for change in Central Europe as well as the EU’s potential common interests with China and how synergies could be used to positively influence the reforms. Ville Varjola (EEAS) will offer comments before entering an extensive Q&A with the audience.

Photo: "Secretary-General Addresses Belt and Road" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by United Nations Photo