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Georgetown University

Publication Date

Spring 2023

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


The objective of this analysis is to reveal the geopolitical and geoeconomic significance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Launched in 2013 as a proposal for increased economic interconnectivity between China and Kazakhstan, the BRI has since grown to encompass hundreds of countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. The region of CEE is of note as it is coterminous with important regional groupings like the 14 + 1 Cooperative Framework between China & CEE and a point of overlapping interests from actors like the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Russia, particularly in the wake of the war in Ukraine. This analysis considers a multitude of factors – Chinese geoeconomic interests, the geopolitical heterogeneity of countries within the 14 + 1 framework, and the prevalence of EU regulations – to formulate a comprehensive response to the following question: “How effective has the Belt and Road Initiative been in achieving Chinese geoeconomic interests in Central and Eastern Europe, and how has that changed with the war in Ukraine?”


Eastern European Studies | Growth and Development | International Economics | International Relations | Transportation Engineering


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