Global Review has since a long time pushed for a European New Silkroad Marco Polo 2.0.- on its blog , on the RIAC blog, as a proposal within the Green party during the EP elections. A European Silk Road Marco Polo 2.0 would be needed, a project that in addition to the systematic development of a high-tech industry in research, development and production by a EU hightechfund also removes the investment backlog in the analog and digital infrastructure in Europe, which are also prerequisites for the use of these new technologies, leaving the young generation with a well-functioning infrastructure for the future as the legacy of our generation, a common interest project that unites today’s Europe, a vision and concrete material advantages, as well as jobs and economic growth then generated in a multiplier effect.
On the one hand as a counterpoint to China’s New Silk Road, a European infrastructure project that renews Europe’s promise of prosperity, makes it concrete and creates optimism again. Especially since every European also wonders: Why are the Chinese building a train route from Budapest to Belgrade and not the Europeans? It is also about getting the Chinese backyard in the form of the 16 plus 1 group back by connecting European non-EU members. The first serious supporters have already appeared. On the one hand, the FAZ already headlined: “Why not a European Silk Road?” The idea is now gaining further supporters from three research institutes, albeit in the still rudimentary form of a high-speed long-distance train network for Europe – here from the Freitag newspaper:
“A recent proposal from the Düsseldorf Institute for Macroeconomics, the Austrian Economic Institute and the French Institute OFCE has shown that there is another way. In view of the EU negotiations on a reconstruction fund to deal with the Corona crisis, they are calling for Europe to build a network of four super-fast train lines that connect east and west, north and south. A route should run from Lisbon via Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen to Helsinki. At an average train speed of 250 to 350 kilometres per hour, the travel time from Berlin to Paris would be reduced to four hours. Those who travel the distance by plane today take longer. The researchers calculated that simply switching passengers from planes to trains would reduce CO2 emissions by four to five percent. Freight traffic would also be shifted to the new rail. The 18,250-kilometer network would cost 1.1 trillion euros – an amount roughly double the 500 billion earmarked for the EU’s reconstruction fund. But it would be worth it. What would a movement from below do to effectively to counter global warming? It would network across Europe to promote such a project. It is so exemplary. The politicians are waving away? This may show that our free elections are not as free as they seem. The movement from below would combine their struggle for an ecologically effective large-scale project with the struggle for an electoral system that does not, of all things, spare the economy – that is, leaves it to capital, on which everything else depends. The chances of getting a lot of approval would be great, also because the institutes propose even more. They consider the superfast train network to be the core of a “European silk road”, which would also include new ports. The continent’s borders, the Balkans, the Caucasus, would be better connected to the industrial regions in the west. The researchers expect 3.5 percent economic growth and two million new jobs.”
Furthermore, in addition to the civil infrastructure, military use for NATO should also be considered, which, like ecological aspects and more, should include the ecological promotion of regional public transport networks to overcome the urban-rural divide in the analog and digital infrastructure, in order to create a holistic concept for the greatest possible benefit. The whole thing should also be thought of with future orientation in matters of Eurasia and the USA. It is also interesting to see that in a joint guest article in the FAZ, the chairman of the Atlantik-Brücke and former Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and John B. Emerson. Former American Ambassador to Germany and Chairman of the American Council on Germany propose a future transatlantic agenda, among this some kind of European or even Eurasian Silkroad: as mentioned as “Conception of a transatlantic infrastructure initiative with Africa and the Eurasian area as a democratic, fair and transparent alternative to China’s “New Silk Road.” Would there be any space and connection in a transatlantic Eurasian Silkroad for Russia? Connectivity between the EU and the EAEU?
In our latests contribution ”China´s New Silkroad and the control of the world island Eurasia: Has the CCP read more Zuozhuan or Mc Kinder?“ we pointed out again the necessity of a Western counterproject against China´s BRI:
“Therefore till now you have influence from China´s history and its classic writings and experiences , Western writings, history and experiences and pragmatic emprirism. It could be possible that the New Silkroad is a sort of Mc Kinder with Chinese Zuozhuan characteristics as was Mao´s or Deng´s communism a socialism with Chinese characteristics. And another question was if the Emperor´s of the old Silk road have ot been Chinese Mc Kinders who wanted also not only wanted to control the Middle Kingdom, but also the Euarsian heartland tthey knew at their times by a tribute system.Maybe Mc Kinder´s thinking is more Chinese than he ever imagined.
The Belt and Road Oinitiative wants to establish control over Eurasia The West has nothing like that and Japan’s and India´s half-hearted Asian-African Economic Corridor makes slow progress because the US is not clearly positioning itself in scu geopoltical mega projects at the moment. After all, former German Vice chancellor and head of the Atlantic Bridge Sigmar Gabriel and US diplomat Emmmerson have now proposed a transatlantic silk road for Eurasia and Africa. But paper is patient and till now the US administration speaks of a US infrasturcture project only for the USA, but not for Eurasia and even the US project is not for sure. However the merger by a Candian railway company seems to promtze an intergrated railway system between the NAFTA states:
“Railroads Strike a $25 Billion Merger
Canadian Pacific agrees to buy Kansas City Southern in deal that would link the U.S., Canada and Mexico
.”Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. agreed to acquire Kansas City Southern in a transaction valued at about $25 billion that would create the first freight-rail network linking Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
The combination, which faces a lengthy regulatory review, is a long-term wager on an interconnected North American economy. The three countries are reopening at different speeds aftethe Covid-19 pandemicr disrupted supply chains and upended global trade. Rail volumes, which plunged last year, have rebounded thoughbacklogs at Californian ports have delayed imports from Asia and stalled some U.S. factories.
It marks the third major U.S. railroad that the Canadian company has targeted in its quest to create a transcontinental network. Canadian Pacific abandoned the two prior efforts—in 2014 and 2016—amid resistance from the takeover targets themselves as well as opposition from rivals, shippers and U.S. regulators.
Keith Creel, chief executive of Canadian Pacific, said lessons were learned from the failed bids. He expects Kansas City’s support for the proposed merger and said the lack of rail-line duplication between the two companies will minimize potential regulatory concerns. “You have two like-minded companies that are committed to this and see the value,” he said.
Patrick Ottensmeyer, CEO of Kansas City, said the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which replaced Nafta in July 2020, creates a unique opportunity to ship freight through the three countries as their economies recover from the pandemic.”
However, it is not an Eurasian infrastructure project as China´s BRI, not even a new Panamerican Silkroad with Latinamerica. The question is if the USA and the West still have the financial resource, the planing competence, organizational talent, political structure and body and the political will to fund and initiate such a Western BRI or let China control Eurasia.”
Therefore it is interesting to see that this idea now finds the highest-ranking support by US president Biden:
„March 26, 2021, 11:15 p.m. USA:
Biden proposes democratic counterpart to China’s Silk Road
Democratic alliance against China: US President Biden brings up a separate Silk Road for this idea. • The White House is considering countering China’s Silk Road with a counterpart planned by democratic states.“
But who is to determine the strategy and the operational planning? The G7, NATO, the Quad, the EU, a new organizational body to be created, as General Naumann proposed years ago, maybe with a Infrastructure Investment Bank? A former NATO general thinks:
“There’s only one: Ambassador Ischinger and MSC”
However a former German diplomat commented:
„Leadership by the EU – that would be the right approach! But the unprofessional Ursula von der Laien crowd can’t manage that; NATO and the G7 and even more so the much-invoked Fantasy Quad lack the planning competence for this. It’s a pity! Because in Beijing there is the ability and the willingness to think and plan from a long-term perspective and also to implement this planning. The West has already lost”
Well, besides such cultural pessimistic moods , hopefully the USA as leading nation could overcome the inflexibility, planinglessness of the West. Otherwise the Western New Silkroad could degenerate to a BER-style construction and would take as long as the Berlin airport, if it ever materializes.
While the West is still debating about a new NATO strategy, the Germans issued a Indo-Pacific strategy and the USA came up with the idea of a Western Silkroad, China already uses its 16 plus 1 states backyard in Europe to expand its military positions:
„Chinese Defense Minister visits Europe to boost military ties, ‘future joint military drills, exchanges likely’
By Liu Xuanzun
Published: Mar 25, 2021 11:00 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe is currently on a visit to four European countries to boost cooperation with their militaries, at a time when some other European countries are sending warships to the South China Sea.
Since foreign analysts will likely connect the two events, Chinese experts said on Thursday that China has a high level of potential regarding military cooperation with European countries, but it will also respond to provocative moves from others.
Wei is on a visit to Hungary, Serbia, Greece and North Macedonia from Wednesday to March 31 on the invitation of the four countries‘ defense ministers, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson at China’s Ministry of National Defense, revealed at a routine press conference on Thursday.
The visit will boost China’s traditional friendship and pragmatic cooperation with these countries‘ defense authorities and militaries, pushing for the healthy and stable development of military-to-military relations, Ren said.
Media reported that some NATO members recently deployed or announced plans to deploy warships to the South China Sea for so-called Freedom of Navigation operations. This includes France, Germany and the UK.
Foreign analysts will tend to relate Wei’s visit to these NATO members‘ South China Sea schemes, Chinese observers said.
Wei’s visit to the four countries is based on China’s good bilateral relations with them, and military exchanges have always been ongoing, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday.
There is a high level of potential regarding military cooperation with European countries in both traditional and non-traditional security fields, like the consolidation of disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation, advanced military technologies like drones and AI, and cybersecurity, Cui said, noting that in the future there could be joint military exercises and exchange visits.
The cooperation on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic could also be featured, analysts said.
Some NATO members are attempting to play certain security roles in the so-called „Indo-Pacific“ region. China can respond by getting involved in security affairs around Europe and allow NATO to understand more about China as a global security actor, Cui said.
Some of Wei’s destinations are also NATO member countries, and NATO is not of one mind on China, with many looking for cooperation instead of confrontation, analysts said.
China needs to boost military exchanges and security cooperation with European countries, Cui said, noting that the Chinese Navy could also send warships to conduct missions and visit friendly countries there.
„If they can come to the South China Sea, we can also go to the Mediterranean,“ Cui said.
A former NATO general commented:
„Interesting. First buy the ports, then enter them. That’s called strategy.“