George N. Tzogopoulos: Greece, Israel, and China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative

Executive Summary
This paper assesses Chinese relations with Israel and Greece since the announcement of the “Belt and Road” initiative. China’s initiative signals the continuation and expansion of a pre-existing incremental policy that aims to strengthen its economic and geopolitical roles, though Beijing’s long-term approach remains unclear.

The Belt and Road initiative does not immediately bring Greece and Israel closer. But it gives the two countries an opportunity to discuss China’s new role in the Mediterranean and to maximize bilateral relationships with Beijing without challenging their pro-West orientation. This is slowly becoming a necessity because of China's emerging strategy and growing interest in energy projects in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean.

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos is a Lecturer at the Democritus University of Thrace, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE), and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute of Nice. He is also a Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), where he coordinates its Asian Studies Programme. Dr. Tzogopoulos is a regular columnist at Global Times and china.org.cn.