Our Q&A open thread topic this week is about the future of the Belt and Road and China-EU relations and our guest is Plamen Tonchev, who has been the Head of Asia Unit at the Institute of International Economic Relations (IIER) in Greece since 1998. Plamen is also a founding member of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), sits on the EU Chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (EU CSCAP) committee and the Asia-Europe Sustainable Connectivity (AESCON) Scientific Committee, has been on over 120 missions to Europe and Asia as an EU expert, and has published books about Japan, India, and Pakistan, as well as articles for academic journals and major media about political/economic co-operation between Europe and Asia.
To put it simply, Plamen knows a thing or two about the New Silk Road. He is also extremely well-traveled in the regions that he covers, and infuses his analyses with on the ground perspectives and experience. He tweets @TonchevPlamen and also plays a mean guitar.
Feel free to ask Plamen any questions you’d like — don’t hesitate to veer off topic — but some points to consider may be:
1) The coming future of China / EU relations in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
2) The impact of China’s “health Silk Road” on Europe?
3) Serbia’s apparent pivot to China and other European countries, such as Hungary, increasingly looking eastward.
4) The Belt and Road’s impact on Greece.
5) The role that travel plays in his research methodology.
6) Advice on how to pursue a career like his.
As always, be nice, challenge ideas not people. Fire away.
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