Silk Road Headlines_7th February, 2020

In the climate change debate harmonizing ecological interests with economical interests can provide opportunities for cooperation. It goes without saying that the complexities of this debate increase substantially once zoomed in. China already expressed its ambition of becoming the torchbearer in reducing climate change (19th Communist Party Plenum). Also, Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has called on China’s banks to ensure their clients align with international good practice when operating overseas. In this sense, interests are aligned with actors associated with the Paris Agreement. Already, Western financial institutions have environmental and social risk management which influences investment decisions. Voting recommendations are cast for shareholders at their respective Annual General Meetings based on the aforementioned framework into account. The success of this cooperation might be determined by the willingness of boards of management and the shareholders' interests [Banks need to take Belt and Road environmental risks seriously], as would the ability for cooperation amongst related parties. Still there are concerns regarding the development of the global economy whilst focusing on the funding of the BRI-project [Is China’s Belt And Road Already In Retreat?]. Regional interests business groups have already expressed their recommendations for harmonized cooperation [EU should fundamentally rebalance its relationship with China].

On another note, the current negotiations of the trade war between the United States and China are manifested on different levels. The depth of this chess game can sometimes be grasped by current events. The Jamestown Foundation provides clear insight with data on how the global economy will affect the growth of China´s economy. Also, it shows China´s leverage at the negotiations, whilst providing insights on ´effective control´ of the U.S. over the Bretton-Woods organization [The Future of Chinese Foreign Economic Policy Will Challenge U.S. Interests, Part 1: The Belt-and-Road Initiative and the Middle Income Trap]. The developments in the Horn of Africa (from a trade and security point of view) and the Gulf counterparts is another manifestation of the trade war. The Maritime Silk Road is becoming a vital platform of the BRI, and opens up opportunities for this region [The Bab el-Mandeb Strait: Regional and great power rivalries on the shores of the Red Sea]. According to the article, the U.S. plans might miss their mark if the focus remains unchanged. China is already increasing its presence in that region and strengthening ties with African counterparts.

The role of India must not be left unmentioned. The podcast of Mercator Institute discusses Sino-Indian relations [Shen Dingli and Jagannath Panda on China-India relations]. It gives a deep dive of the security interests of both actors in a multipolar context, specifically in relation to the UN Security Council.

By Clingendael