Thursday, 22.02.18 to Friday, 23.02.18 - Yangon, Myanmar

Security implications of the maritime route in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

A regional workshop, one of a three parts global forum series probing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), will address the security implications of its maritime segment for South Asian states and the Gulf of Aden.

Design: FES/Kawin Tadtiam

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious long-term integration and cooperation vision for the Eurasian continental landmass, Africa, maritime corridors and beyond. It comprises two large segments: a land route starting in western China that goes through Central Asia and on to the Middle East, known as the Belt; and a maritime route that goes around Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf, and the Horn of Africa, known as the Road.

Analyses of the security dimensions of the BRI thus far have been limited in political and academic discourse, where most of the attention has focused on the economic implications of the undertaking.

To fill the gap, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) have been organizing a global forum series probing the security implications of the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Co-hosted by the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS), SIPRI and FES are organizing in Yangon “The 21st century Maritime Silk Road”, a regional workshop that will address the security implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for South Asian states and the Gulf of Aden.

Over the two workshop days in Yangon, participants—among them experts and policy advisors from Myanmar—will address the security concerns among South Asian states and the Horn of Africa associated to the Road segment of the BRI. Together, they will discuss the effects of the Road component to cooperation between South Asian states and actors from the adjacent regions in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and explore how the BRI could affect the interests of the European Union in the region, specifically with focus on strategic access, transit as well as short-, medium- and long-term economic and stability interests.

Second in the series of three workshops, the Yangon event builds on the conclusions from the workshop   that took place in Manila in November 2017 and on past field and desk research by SIPRI and FES that analysed the security implications of the Belt component.

The workshop series on the security implications of the Road, is part of a joint project by SIPRI and FES that started in 2016. At the end of the first sequence of the project in 2017, SIPRI and FES published a report that examined the wider security dynamics related to the Belt, at a geopolitical as well as intrastate level providing a comprehensive view how China’s initiative may affect the strategic landscape, and how the EU policymakers should best engage with it.

Read the report “The Silk Road Economic Belt: Considering security implications and EU-China cooperation prospects.”

For more information on the joint activities by SIPRI and FES on the One Belt and Road Initiative contact Stefan Pantekoek, Resident Director at FES Shanghai Office. ###

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