The Silk Road TrapHow China's Trade Ambitions Challenge Europe
The Silk Road Trap
How China's Trade Ambitions Challenge Europe
For almost two decades, China has claimed that its expanding economy benefits Europe, stimulating European growth, exports, and employment. But the reality is not so clear-cut. Whilst individual companies may have profited from China’s economic rise,unbalanced trade with China has actually cost Europe over 1.4 trillion euros in the last ten years as well as undermining its political influence. China’s monumental infrastructural project, the Belt And Road Initiative or New Silk Road as it has come to be known - is set to make this situation even worse.

<i>The Silk Road Trap</i> is the first book to expose just how risky this uneven partnership is for Europe. In it, leading expert on Asian affairs Jonathan Holslag, argues that Europe must reduce its reliance on China and work on building a stronger and more sustainable European economic model. By revealing the political aspirations and economic strategy behind the new Silk Road, he lays out its implications for specific European industries, from steel over aircraft to robots. Holslag, though critical of China, does not, however, make the case for confrontational, Trumpian protectionism. Instead, he posits that the new Silk Road need not ensnare Europe; it offers the continent a unique opportunity to transition from a future "made in China" to one that is "made in Europe".
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  • February 2019
  • 232 pages
  • 140 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509534685
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509534692
  • Open eBook $9.99
  • 9781509534708
Table of Contents

Tables, Figures and Boxes

1. A call for economic realism

2. Europe’s failed engagement

3. China’s ambition for the future

4. China’s connectivity contest

5. The “Belt and Road” and “Made in China 2025”

6. European future made in Europe

Notes and references

About the Author

JONATHAN HOLSLAG teaches international politics at the Free University Brussels. He has published extensively on China's foreign policy strategy in Asia.

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‘A smart and provocative analysis that deserves wide attention.’
François Godement, European Council on Foreign Relations 

‘In this perceptive and pragmatic book, Jonathan Holslag awakens Europe to its romantic self-deception regarding China’s expansionist intentions and offensives. Europe must get realistic about China and this book may just be that wake-up call.’
Karel de Gucht, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and former EU trade commissioner

'A strong and thought-provoking argument about the implications of China’s rise for Europe.'
Alan Beattie, Financial Times

‘A powerful counterpoint to the increasingly complacent attitudes of European (and British) policymakers to a country that combines authoritarian politics with a state-directed economic system.

FT Adviser


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