Skip to main content

Clingendael Institute: Silk Road Headlines

Silk Road Headlines

3 April 2019

Chinese  cargo in Port of Rotterdam - Source:Frans Berkelaar /flickr

Luxembourg has joined the Belt and Road Initiative. On 27 March 2019, Prime Minister Bettel of Luxembourg was in Beijing to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on BRI cooperation [Luxembourg Signs Accord With China on Belt and Road Initiative]. This took place only four days after Italy signed a similar document. The Italian move attracted widespread attention, was called a ‘landmark accord’ by Bloomberg, and was openly criticised by the United States. Many commentators noted that this was the first time a member of the G7 and a founding member of the European Union joined BRI. The New York Times stated that Italy joining BRI was ‘a move that signaled geopolitical shifts from West to East’ [Italy’s Deal With China Signals a Shift as U.S. Influence Recedes].

In contrast, very few international media even mentioned the agreement between Luxemburg and China. Of course Luxembourg is not a large economy, but like Italy it is one of the original six founders of the EU. Moreover, Luxembourg is the first country in Northwest Europe that has signed a formal agreement on BRI cooperation. Its government’s main motive seems to have been to strengthen its financial sector. After the BRI agreement was signed, several further Sino-Luxembourg agreements were signed. These relate to cooperation between the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and its counterparts in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and other financial institutions in China. Luxemburg’s move was not an impulsive action triggered by Italy’s example. While for many months it had been clear that the Italian government was considering joining BRI, during the same time many European governments were aware that for Luxemburg to do so was a matter of when, not if, this would happen.

That Luxembourg attracts so little attention is all the more remarkable given the country’s role during establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a Chinese initiative that has partly the same aims as the Belt and Road Initiative. Four years ago all eyes were on the United Kingdom when it became the first European country to join the AIIB. Similar to Italy’s move now, the UK’s decision was seen as a sign that Europe and the United States are moving in different geopolitical directions. Shortly after the UK had done so, Luxembourg also announced that it would join the AIIB. After that many other European countries did the same. It is believed that the surprise move of the British government was motivated by the expectation that Luxembourg’s joining of the AIIB was imminent. Nevertheless, Luxembourg managed to position itself as a significant actor in relation to the AIIB. This July will be the first time that the AIIB’s annual meeting is held in Europe. That meeting will take place in Luxembourg.

Frans-Paul van der Putten

This week's Silk Road Headlines

When the EU engages Global China, it should be Europe First [Friends of Europe]

Italy joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative highlights different approaches of Europe and the US on Asia policy [SCMP]

Italy’s Deal With China Signals a Shift as U.S. Influence Recedes [New York Times]

New Silk Road critics are 'prejudiced', China's top diplomat says [Reuters]

China’s island-building and ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ are part of same defence strategy, says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo [SCMP]

Luxembourg Signs Accord With China on Belt and Road Initiative [Bloomberg]

China’s ‘Silk Road urbanism’ is changing cities from London to Kampala – can locals keep control? [The Conversation]

China’s growing presence in the Gulf [East Asia Forum]

EU leaders hold out olive branch to Chinese ‘rival’ by saying they want active role in Belt and Road Initiative [SCMP]

Ethiopia in talks with China to ease ‘serious debt pressure’ tied to New Silk Road rail link, envoy says [SCMP]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…