September 13, 2022

New CNAS Report | Competitive Connectivity: Crafting Transatlantic Responses to China's Belt and Road Initiative

By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Lisa Curtis, Jacob Stokes, Carisa Nietsche, Joshua Fitt, and Nicholas Lokker

Washington, September 13, 2022—Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report, Competitive Connectivity: Crafting Transatlantic Responses to China's Belt and Road Initiative from authors Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Lisa Curtis, Jacob Stokes, Carisa Nietsche, Joshua Fitt, and Nicholas Lokker.

The authors assert that although the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has failed to achieve Beijing’s initial objectives, it could evolve in ways that present risks to the United States and European Union (EU). And while the U.S. and the EU on their own would not be able to match the scale of China’s global infrastructure investments, together they can a provide an alternative source of financing and manage these risks.

"To avoid overstretching resources, the EU should prioritize investing in infrastructure in its immediate neighborhood, such as the western Balkan states, where China has attempted to gain influence in recent years," write the authors. "For the United States, the priority should be on the Indo-Pacific countries that are central to strategic competition with China. While these areas should be prioritized, the United States and Europe should also continue cooperating on investment and infrastructure efforts throughout the Global South, especially in Africa."

Given the uncertain future of BRI, the authors identified the major drivers likely to influence the direction of the program and examined their numerous permutations. The authors selected three scenarios and focused on how conditions of each scenario would play out in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.

For each scenario, the report identifies the risks and implications for the U.S. and its allies. The scenarios are designed to prepare policymakers and planners for the possible futures they could face, including key challenges and opportunities that may arise in the years to come.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the report author, please contact Cameron Edinburgh at cedinburgh@cnas.org

Read the Report

Indo-Pacific Security

Competitive Connectivity

China launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—originally called “One Belt, One Road”—nine years ago, pledging to use its vast financial resources and construction capacity...

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Authors

  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. She works on national security challenges facing the United States and Eur...

  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in...

  • Jacob Stokes

    Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign policy, East Asian security affa...

  • Carisa Nietsche

    Associate Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Carisa Nietsche is an Associate Fellow for the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. She specializes in Europe-China relations, transatlantic technology policy, and threats ...

  • Joshua Fitt

    Associate Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Joshua Fitt is an Associate Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. He focuses on U.S. East Asian security strategy and specializes in Japanese and Korean penins...

  • Nicholas Lokker

    Research Assistant, Transatlantic Security Program

    Nick Lokker is a Research Assistant for the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. His work focuses on European political and security affairs, with a particular emphasis on ...