Our Q&A open thread topic this week is about the future of the Belt and Road and China-EU relations and our guest is Plamen Tonchev, who has been the Head of Asia Unit at the Institute of International Economic Relations (IIER) in Greece since 1998. Plamen is also a founding member of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), sits on the EU Chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (EU CSCAP) committee and the Asia-Europe Sustainable Connectivity (AESCON) Scientific Committee, has been on over 120 missions to Europe and Asia as an EU expert, and has published books about Japan, India, and Pakistan, as well as articles for academic journals and major media about political/economic co-operation between Europe and Asia.
To put it simply, Plamen knows a thing or two about the New Silk Road. He is also extremely well-traveled in the regions that he covers, and infuses his analyses with on the ground perspectives and experience. He tweets @TonchevPlamen and also plays a mean guitar.
Feel free to ask Plamen any questions you’d like — don’t hesitate to veer off topic — but some points to consider may be:
1) The coming future of China / EU relations in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
2) The impact of China’s “health Silk Road” on Europe?
3) Serbia’s apparent pivot to China and other European countries, such as Hungary, increasingly looking eastward.
4) The Belt and Road’s impact on Greece.
5) The role that travel plays in his research methodology.
6) Advice on how to pursue a career like his.
As always, be nice, challenge ideas not people. Fire away.
Hello Plamen, We have a lot of younger people who subscribe that are looking into careers in the think tank / academia / journalism worlds. Do you have any advice for them as to how to get started?
Also, how does the general population in Greece feel about Chinese investment in their country (at Piraeus, etc)?
Plamen, what do you think will come of Greece's China relations after the fallout from the pandemic?
China is gaining control over harbors in Sri-Lanka, Djibouti, Israel & Greece. Is this part of the BRI / Beijing soft power or what?
Hi Wade and thanks.
Nowadays after the pandemic of Coronavirus, we are seeing that the EU is not as UNITED as they advertise!
I think if china pays more attention to several countries like Serbia - which is behind the door of the EU for many years -or Italy or other countries, it can destroy this union step by step and make a new political or economical union.
Hint: China has shown that it can do that and we can see 2 examples of their work in B&R and AIIB.
What's your opinion?