Three momentous developments -- the rise of China, collapse of the USSR, and enlargement of the EU – accelerated the economic interdependence of Eurasia at the turn of the twenty-first century, according to Kent Calder (Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration, Stanford University Press, 2019). COVID-19 is now the fourth earthquake to jolt the world’s largest land mass. The pandemic created an unprecedented global economic shock as borders closed, supply chains fragmented, and protectionist barriers rose. The long-term impacts are uncertain. However, business as usual is unlikely to mark the new normal. Against this backdrop, a panel of scholars from China, Germany, Kazakhstan, and the US will explore the impact of COVID-19 on transcontinental connectivity from the perspective of key countries and regions in the Belt and Road Initiative: Germany, Hungary, Greece, Belarus, Russia and Central Asia. Will the pandemic curtail European-Eurasian integration and Chinese influence? Or will it represent a critical juncture that relaxes political constraints and hastens economic interdependence?
Cosponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Edwin O. Reischauer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
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