China and the Mediterranean Region in and Beyond the Pandemic
- Agatha Kratz, Associate Director, Rhodium Group
- Jonathan Fulton, Assistant Professor, Zayed University
- Jennifer Bouey, Senior Policy Researcher & Tang Chair in China Policy Studies, RAND
- Andrew Small, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, GMF Asia Program
The Mediterranean region is a crucial area for China and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has hit many BRI projects, due to their dependence on China for materials, workforce, and funding. In this context, Beijing decided to revitalize the “Health Silk Road,” exploiting the network of ports and logistics hubs that constitute the BRI to provide medical supplies to countries across the region and use the crisis as an opportunity to promote the value of the initiative. Yet China is also facing heightened controversy over its “mask diplomacy” and propaganda tactics, new measures to tighten investment-screening frameworks, and growing debates over global supply chains.
In this webinar, we will discuss how China’s relations with the Mediterranean region could change during and after the coronavirus emergency. What will the fate of the BRI in the region be amid the changed economic and political context resulting from the pandemic? How is China dealing with the worsening BRI debt challenges? What is the potential impact for countries in the region where Chinese investments and influence are already the subject of intense debates? How is the broader geopolitical context—including the intensifying U.S.-China competition—affecting these dynamics?
If you have any questions, please contact Alberto Tagliapietra