The resolution is not , The the BRI on balance desirable.
The resolution is whether or not the European Union (EU should join the BRI. Teams that make arguments that center around that will win.
And what are these arguments? I generally think you can put them in one of four categories.
Financing. There is a good argument to be made that if the EU joins the BRi that it’s banks will become more supportive and provide the capital need to enable China to finish tbe BRI.
Horia Curtin, 2017, A PIVOT TO EUROPE: CHINA’S BELT-AND-ROAD BALANCING ACT, http://ier.gov.ro/wp-content/uploads/publicatii/Final_Policy-Brief-5_Horia-Ciurtin-A-Pivot-to-Europe_web.pdf, Mr Horia Ciurtin is a legal adviser in the field of international investment law and international arbitration; Managing Editor of the EFILA Blog which appears under the auspices of the European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (Brussels). He is also an Expert for New Strategy Center (Bucharest), a prominent Romanian think-tank in the field of strategy and international relations. In 2017, he co-founded DAVA | Strategic Analysis, a think-tank providing indepth strategic, cultural and geo-economic analyses.
However impressive the sums might appear at a first glance, they fall short of the needed amount. The first stages of developing the Belt-and-Road require no less than $3 trillion (according to some accounts, even more). And this is a task that China – despite its constant growth and increasing economic power – cannot accomplish alone.36 It really needs co-interested parties. And that is where the European Union (with its unbearable economic force) comes into the spotlight: it is not supposed to be just a “passive” destination at the end of the road, but also a co-owner in this joint venture. Without European cash – from public and private sources – it is highly improbable that other actors could feasibly join China in funding the initiative. Russia, Iran, Turkey or Kazakhstan (or even Japan and India37) are in an entirely different economic league than what is needed for such a massive project. For a path to Europe to emerge, Europe itself is needed along the way. In reality, EU-based institutions already are the largest lenders in the region (see Figure 3 below). And Europe is highly interested in developing infrastructure and connectivity with its marginal areas…. However, as shown before, China cannot financially and logistically manage such an ambitious project on its own. And, this time, prominent regional actors such as Russia, Iran and Turkey (who are unable) or India and Japan (who are unwilling) cannot be counted upon to build the Belt and Road. The only possible – and the truly necessary – partner is the European Union. The path to Europe can open up only with Europe’s support and financial participation
Standards. Teams will argue that BRI is inevitable (see above) and that EU involvement will strengthen environmental standards, labor standards, lending standards, and safety standards.
The action. Teams will argue that the EU joining will alienate the US and produce positive and negative political fallout. Regardless of what actually transpires in terms of that cooperation, the EU making a decision to join in on China’s most important geopolitical project that is Xi’s legacy item at the expense of the US would be significant.
The area. Teams will argue that Europe joining will produce advantages and disadvantages within Europe itself. Since Eastern Europe has already joined, isolating advantages and disadvantages to Western Europe would be particularly valuable.