In 2013 two competing and complementary projects to foster Eurasia connectivity have been launched. On September 7, 2013, China’s President Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road Initiative by delivering a speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University, and less than a month after, on October 18, 2013, at an international conference on Eurasian cooperation in Seoul, Park Geun-hye proposed the “Eurasia Initiative.” The Initiatives both try to re-engineer Eurasia through a new network of infrastructures and corridors to enhance transregional connectivity. In response to these initiatives, the European Union also launched its comprehensive strategy for connecting Europe and Asia in 2018 with sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity at its core. How are these visions for the future competing or support each other and how transformative have been so far and what is their future potentials?
Maria Adele Carrai is an Assistant Professor of Global China Studies at NYU Shanghai. Her research explores the history of international law in East Asia and investigates how China’s rise as a global power is shaping norms and redefining the international distribution of power. In light of the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, she is looking in particular at the economic, legal, and political repercussions of Chinese investments and economic engagement in Europe and Africa. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, she was a recipient of a three-year Marie-Curie fellowship at KU Leuven. She was also a Fellow at the Italian Academy of Columbia University, Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, Max Weber Program of the European University Institute of Florence, and New York University Law School.