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  • Oziewicz, Ewa; Bednarz, Joanna (Scientific Journals Maritime University of Szczecin, Zeszyty Naukowe Akademia Morska w Szczecinie, )
    The Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century (MSR) is one of the two largest and most ambitious projects announced by Xi Jinping in 2013, under the current name, the Belt and Road Initiative. The main aim of this paper is to assess the opportunities and risks of the maritime portion of this project for EU countries. The authors would like to draw the attention of readers to the possible goals behind the MSR, especially now, when numerous doubts connected with the Chinese initiative have risen. The authors analyze the situation and the consequences of the MSR Initiative for European ports and shipping companies, as well as for other infrastructure and sectors connected with seaborne trade as a part of the blue economy. The MSR creates not only opportunities for developing a blue economy in EU countries, but also competitive risks. EU countries should keep in mind the growing importance of the blue economy for China (including marine industries, the exploitation of ocean resources, and services such as tourism and transport), especially since it already currently represents around 10% of Chinese GDP. It is also worth highlighting that the sea lanes of communication from China to Europe through the Malacca-Suez route are among the busiest in the world. Twenty-five percent of world trade passes through the Malacca Strait alone. This should convince EU countries to pay more attention to China’s activity at sea.

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