The second of three regional workshops on the 21st century maritime silk road took place in Yangon to address the security implications of China's One Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South East Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The BRI is an ambitious long-term integration and cooperation vision for the Eurasian continent, Africa, maritime corridors and beyond. Analyses of the security dimensions of the BRI thus far have been limited in political and academic discourse, with the majority focusing on the economic implications.
To fill the gap, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) are organizing three regional workshops on "The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Considering Security Implications". The workshop in Yangon was co-hosted by the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) and also addressed and involved experts and policy advisors in Myanmar itself.
At the workshop, participants addressed questions such as security concerns related to the BRI among South Asian states and the Horn of Africa as well as possible effects on competition and cooperation among South Asian states and extra-regional actors in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. Furthermore, it was considered how the BRI might affect EU interests in the region, specifically regarding strategic access, transit and short-, medium- and long-term economic and stability interests. As the second in the series, the Yangon workshop built on the conclusions from the first one that took place in Manila in November 2017 as well as from past field and desk research by SIPRI and FES.
The third regional workshop will take place in Shanghai from 29 to 30 March 2018. For further information on the joint activities by SIPRI and FES on the One Belt and Road Initiative please find the policy report from 2017 under the related news section or contact Stefan Pantekoek from the FES Shanghai Office.