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EU, China hold workshop to discuss “New Silk Road” strategy

BRUSSELS, (Xinhua) — High-level officials and influential experts gathered here on Monday and started to discuss European perspectives on China’s ambitious “Belt and Road” initiatives, or the New Silk Road strategy.

The two-day international workshop is hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body to the European Union (EU).

The program came after China and EU agreed to enhance cooperation under “Belt and Road” initiatives and the bloc’s 315-billion-euro investment plan at the 17th China-EU Summit which took place in Brussels on June. 29.

At the end of this month, the two sides are set to hold a fresh round of bilateral investment talks in Beijing. According to Minister of Chinese Mission to the EU Zhang Lirong, details of the new mutual fund are on the agenda.

“It is time for the European side to examine China’s New Silk Road strategy in order to understand what it is, what its major objectives are, and how these objectives are to be realized,” said organizers of the event in a public release.

It was noted that the workshop aims to bring together EU policymakers from the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the European Parliament, as well as think tanks and academics to have an in-depth discussion and to generate the continent’s perspectives on “Belt and Road” initiatives.

Topics of the workshop, which will continue on Tuesday, include “Belt and Road” initiatives’ geopolitical impact, security and political challenge as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

The workshop was organized by EU-China Research Center and the InBev-Baillet Latour Chair of EU-China Relations at the College of Europe.

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