Since its inception in late 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has grown into a vast global development project with increasing geopolitical and geo-economic implications. By 2020, Belt and Road co-operation involved more than half of the OSCE’s 57 participating States. Understanding the implications of China’s growing presence and activities for the OSCE as a whole, for its subregions, and participating States is therefore of some significance for the Organisation’s ability to continue fulfilling its mandate as a comprehensive and cooperative security organisation. To contribute to such an understanding is the primary aim of this Report for the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions. The analysis that emerges highlights the profound, yet differential impact that the BRI has had on OSCE participating States and assesses the current and likely future implications of this on the OSCE as an institution. Highlighting both challenges and opportunities for the OSCE, this Report concludes with a number of policy recommendations for the Organisation and its participating States.

This is an open-access publication.

Abridged versions of the Report are available in


There is also a discussion of some aspects of the report under the title “China: A Challenge or an Opportunity for the OSCE?” in Security and Human Rights Monitor.