Chinese expansion: a European view

Alexander Salitsky , Nelli Semenova , Karina Gemueva

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №6

DOI: 10.31857/S086919080002878-2

The article studies China's economic presence in European countries and analyses a wide range of expert opinions, sometimes diametrically opposed, about this presence. The Chinese concept of “The Belt and Road“, appealing for transit countries that experience an infrastructural famine, is seen as an instrument of penetration of Chinese counterparts into various economic spheres of European states. At the heart of the Chinese initiatives, there are various economic and geopolitical motivations of Beijing. Despite the fact that Chinese projects were not rejected in terms of scope, complex character, and solid ideological preparation oriented at economic growth, Chinese expansion meets many obstacles in its way. The Silk Belt project faces a number of difficulties and challenges: regulatory restrictions, technological barriers and lack of mutual trust make it difficult to implement “The Belt and Road” in Europe. Simultaneously, European countries have a fairly wide range of opinions about the Belt and Road Initiative. The energetic power of the young superpower begins to resist the protectionism of the recent leaders and proponents of globalization. European observers express negative perceptions of the existing parameters of bilateral foreign trade; the negative balance of the EU is seen as an indicator of the unprofitability of the Chinese direction and the continued decline in the competitiveness of the EU. Beijing's desire to conduct business on a bilateral basis, as if ignoring the integration into the EU and supranational structures is negatively perceived in Europe. Some aspects of Beijing's investment policy in Europe are often criticized. However, an assessment of the real extent of China's expansion is hampered by discrepancies in statistical data from various sources. In fact, the countries of Northern Europe are concerned about their own access to the Chinese market. Eastern Europe is interested in Chinese investment. Some countries in Southern Europe have already received significant investments from China and, contrary to the experts' opinions, welcome Chinese expansion.

Keywords: China, Europe, economic expansion, scholars, observers

Pages: С. 199–210

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