In 2015, for the first time in modern history, the volume of trade on the Europe-Asia shipping route surpassed that of the Europe-Americas route. The growing connection between Europe and Asia paves the way for a new centrality of the Mediterranean region in the global trade system. This is happening, however, at a moment of instability in the region which could have catastrophic effects on trade and economic development in the years to come. “The One Belt, One Road” or “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) initiative, launched by President Xi Jinping at the end of 2013, is an ambitious plan for infrastructural development which addresses growing Eurasian connectivity and regional security challenges. This lecture examines the feasibility of the initiative and evaluates the challenges and opportunities it poses for Europe and the world.
Prof. Dr. Enrico Fardella
Peking University, History Dep. / Torino World Affairs Institute
Dr. Fardella is currently Associate Professor at the History Department of Peking University and Executive Director of the Center for Mediterranean Area Studies at Peking University. Enrico is also Project Leader of the AsiaMed Project at the Torino World Affairs Institute (T.wai), Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Research Scholar at the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies (CIMA). Dr. Fardella has been an East China Normal University (ECNU) – Wilson Center Scholar in the History and Public Policy Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and a Fellow of the Science & Technology China Programme of the European Commission. He is the co-director, with CCT’s Prof. Matthias Niedenführ, of the ThinkINChina forum in Beijing, as well as deputy editor of the OrizzonteCina monthly review. His fields of interests are Chinese foreign policy, history of international relations and history of contemporary China.