- Research Programs
- Regions & Topics
- All Publications
A nation must think before it acts.
Download China’s Black Sea Ambitions
The People’s Republic of China is actively engaging Black Sea littoral states through various initiatives to open new markets for Chinese goods, facilitate the acquisition of valuable or strategic local industries, and offer loans for large development projects. These efforts go far beyond just building roads and bridges, with growing political influence operations intended to ultimately put the countries on a pro-Beijing axis. Although Chinese-funded projects often fail or come with strings attached, China has been able to present itself as a credible alternative when the European Union is unable or unwilling to provide financing.
If China is successful in its political efforts, EU unity in general and cohesion on China policy in particular will be difficult, if not outright impossible. To meet this challenge, the EU must make the “One Europe” principle the nonnegotiable cornerstone for all engagement with China. In addition, Brussels needs to devote more attention and resources to the Black Sea region, carefully monitoring the 16+1 initiative and other proposals and presenting alternatives where feasible, including Georgia and Ukraine. Lastly, there needs to be greater awareness of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to use economic investment as a vehicle for political influence.