Europe between China and the United States: Geoeconomic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative
Purpose: The research aims to examine the scope, nature and strength of the EU’s relations with China and the United States, under new circumstances created by the development of the Belt and Road Initiative. Design/Methodology/Approach: In pursuance of the goals, three main research fields were identified. The first part of the research covers the EU-China relationship with special regard to the Belt and Road Initiative development. The second part concentrates on the transatlantic relationship under the specific terms of Sino-American competition. The third section is devoted to measuring the strength of economic ties between the EU with China and the U.S. The multidimensional analysis of the EU-China and the EU-U.S. bilateral cooperation is conducted within the framework of the geoeconomic theory. The main tool used in the first and second part of the research is a literature analysis whereas to reflect the strength of geoeconomic relations between the countries geoeconomic vulnerability indicators were employed. Findings: The BRI is an instrument promoting China’s model for international economic cooperation, giving an advantage to the Chinese state and commercial enterprises at the expense of the U.S. and other partners of the EU. Although China has an advantage in terms of trade, its FDI is yet to catch up with those from the U.S. However, as China consistently increases trade and investments in the EU countries, its geoeconomic and geopolitical influence in the region may definitely increase. Practical Implications: The proposed set of indicators can be used to assess and monitor the strength and nature of bilateral relations between countries from a geoeconomic perspective. Originality/Value: The article provides a comprehensive and multidimensional analysis of the current EU-China-U.S. relations in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. In this paper, the authors examine relations between the above mentioned countries by means of a geoeconomic approach.