The “Silk Road” re-enters the Mediterranean: Risk and Opportunities of China’s new grand initiative

Throughout history, the Mediterranean Sea played a vital role in the economic and social development of the countries in its rims. As a basin of three continents – Asia, Europe, and Africa – early civilizations exploited its proximity to developing their maritime and commercial strategies, which eventually stretched out all the way to Far Eastern countries throughout the Silk Road.

The significance of the Mediterranean Sea followed a Chinese path across history until recently. Today the region has emerged again as a central component of not only regional countries’ strategies but also of non-neighboring countries. The multitude of cultures, natural resources, and economic dynamics of the Mediterranean Sea has recently attracted global players, such as the U.S., Russia, and China, seeking new opportunities. It is, nevertheless, the first time, since the ancient Silk Road, that an “external” actor includes the Mediterranean basin in its geopolitical outlook. It is the case of the New Silk Road, announced by the Chinese government at the end of 2013. Also known as “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR) initiative, the New Silk Road consists two routes. […]

Zhang Xiaotong
Associate Professor, Wuhan University

Martina Desogus
Research Fellow, Wuhan University Centre for Economic Diplomacy

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  • Paperback: The “Silk Road” re-enters the Mediterranean: Risk and Opportunities of China’s new grand initiative
  • Publisher: Mediterranean Affairs – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1541275853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1541275850
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 0.3 x 23.4 cm


Introduction (p.4)
The “Belt and Road” Initiative and the Mediterranean: a “Win-Win” Opportunity? (p.11)
Sino-EU political and economic ties: a brief overview (p.13)
China’s AIIB and the EU’s Juncker Plan: challenging the institutional architecture? (p.18)
FDI with Chinese characteristics: more than investments (p.21)
B&R: more pitfalls than benefits? (p.25)
Conclusions (p.29)
China’s Interests in Southern Mediterranean (p.33)
China’s moves: trade and (O)FDI (p.35)
The socio-economically fertile ground of China-Maghreb cooperation (p.43)
Conclusions (p.46)
The Future of Sino-Greek Relations Interview with Prof. Francesco Anghelone (p.50)
From Pyreus to Germany: China and the First European Economy (p.61)
Sino-German Economic and Political Ties (p.63)
Chinese OFDI in Germany (p.69)
“Made in China 2025” Initiative (p.73)
Has the honeymoon come to a standstill? (p.77)
Conclusions (p.80)
The Belt and the Road What Role and Opportunities for Italy (p.83)
Chinese investments in Italy: conventional and “unconventional” sectors (p.85)
The Italian stance towards the B&R (p.92)
Italy’s capability-expectations gap (p.95)
Conclusions (p.101)
Conclusions (p.104)
References (p.109)
About the Authors (p.130)


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