ReConnect China Policy Brief 9: Geopolitical Narratives Are Counterproductive

This policy brief maps the origins, shortcomings, and potential implications of a geopolitical reading of the Global Gateway vis-à-vis the Belt and Road Initiative. Despite the obvious geopolitical implications of such initiatives, it is argued that framing Global Gateway in a reactive and competitive geopolitical narrative could reduce its appeal to stakeholders in the Global South and strain its relationships with China. Therefore, it is proposed to focus Global Gateway narratives on a proactive and positive agenda aligned with the national priorities of the partner countries and globally accepted goals such as those included in the 2030 Agenda.

Policy recommendations:

  • Avoid a reactive and competitive geopolitical framing of the Global Gateway.
  • Emphasise a proactive and positive agenda in the narratives of the Global Gateway putting the focus on cooperation with partners along the Global South and Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Increase ownership and the sense of ownership among partners from the Global South.

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