The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most important maritime highways in international trade and a marine traffic hub at the western end of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This essay examines the role of Mediterranean countries in the construction and realization of the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, one of the BRI’s two main components. China’s maritime activity in the Mediterranean Sea and its shores consists mainly of constructing and operating ports or railways. The investments in sea-lanes and railways complement each other and jointly open new trade links between China and the Eurasia-Africa zone. However, the implementation of a Maritime Silk Road via the Mediterranean Sea cannot succeed unless there is a way to bridge the gap between economic interests and the capacity to protect those interests.

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