Announced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to strengthen China’s connectivity with the world. It combines new and old projects, covers an expansive geographic scope, and includes efforts to strengthen hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, and cultural ties. In February 2020, the Plan touched 138 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of almost $30 trillion and around 4.5 billion people. Supporting a diverse array of initiatives that enhance connectivity throughout Eurasia and beyond could serve to strengthen China’s economic and security interests while bolstering overseas development. At the first Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May 2017, President Xi Jinping noted that, “In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should focus on the fundamental issue of development, release the growth potential of various countries and achieve economic integration and interconnected development and deliver benefits to all.
EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers meant to trigger Chinese and EU experts’ cooperation to drive the planning of resilient cities and more sustainable projects among BRI:
- Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Urbanization
- Belt and Road & Initiative Sustainable Transport
- Belt and Road Initiative & Industry 4.0
- Belt and Road Initiative & Green Finance