China in the Broader Black Sea Region: Brussels event 28th of October 2021: Recap
In a lively debate moderated by Roland Freudenstein, speakers Alexandra Martin, Mohammadbagher Forough and Niklas Nováky gave their take on Chinese influence in the broader Black Sea Region. Ms Martin pointed out the opinion polls in the region vis-à-vis China are shifting towards a more concerned stance on the foreign policy of China in the region. Mr Forough mentioned the Sino-American relation is important in this region as the US holds military power and China has economic power. Actors in the Black Sea Region should assess their economic dependency on the one hand and military dependency on the other hand. Mr Nováky shared his views on the defence policy implications for the EU and NATO. NATO and the EU need to realistically assess China’s emergence as an actor in the region. A more long-term, better coordinated and more unified approach to security and democracy in the broader black sea region should be found. The audience took part in the debate questioning the alternatives the EU has, to combat the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative including special regional cooperation platforms. While the EU is taking steps forward in the right direction, more could be done. The newly proposed Global Gateway could act as an alternative, but the future will tell. One of the speakers mentioned the EU communication is lacking when it comes to convincing citizens of the efforts that have been taken in the region already.