China’s vision of a Silk Road for the 21st century – the subject of our cover story – will bring billions of dollars in investment in roads and railways. As Nicola Casarini explains, the vision of connecting China to Europe is tempting to the Old Continent, which spies a lifeline to drag it out of its financial morass.
But every temptation carries a cost. Hans Kundnani and Angela Stanzel sound a warning against excessive economic dependence on China.
The challenges facing the EU are covered in three articles. Kate Connolly reports on how Angela Merkel is staking her legacy by welcoming a flood of migrants. Iain Begg looks at Europe’s costly welfare spending – and provides ammunition to challenge critics who want to hack it back. Charles Grant casts his mind back to the 1980s when Europe laid the groundwork for its troubled currency, the euro. He notes five design faults but concludes that the real change now has to come in Berlin.