Will Europe Embrace China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Vision?

Will Europe Embrace China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Vision?
The first freight train service from China to the U.K. arrives at DB Cargo's rail freight terminal, Barking, U.K., January 18, 2017 (Press Association photo by Stefan Rousseau via AP Images).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about China’s One Belt, One Road infrastructure initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Last month, the U.K. inaugurated the first freight train service to China—a 17-day, 7,500-mile journey from Essex to Zhejiang province. A cargo route was earlier established linking China and Spain. The milestones are reminders of Chinese ambitions for European involvement in its One Belt, One Road initiative. In an email interview, Andrew Small, senior trans-Atlantic fellow with the Asia Program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, explains why European officials are generally enthusiastic about the initiative and describes potential barriers to the implementation of individual projects.

WPR: What One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects have been proposed or implemented in Europe, and how have they been received in Brussels and other European capitals?

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