Vol.14, No.2 | [Article] China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative Strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Cypriot Option
In recent years, the Eastern Mediterranean has emerged as a crucial component of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Maritime Silk Road Initiative strategy (MSRI) with particular importance for its BRI (Belt and Road Initiative). Chinese investments in port facilities and key large-scale infrastructure projects in the Eastern Mediterranean aim to open new trade links between China and the Eurasia-Africa regions. This study examines the Chinese MSRI strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean by focusing on the Cypriot option as a new BRI trade node and route. PRC’s relations with Cyprus are almost exclusively linked to its MSRI strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean and energy projects. Although the BRI framework does not immediately bring PRC and Cyprus closer, it allows the two countries to discuss China’s new role in the Mediterranean region and maximize the bilateral relationships without challenging Cyprus’s pro-West orientation.