What do China’s rise as a superpower and increasing global urbanization have in common? Looking at the long term, both trends will be defining features of the 21st century. Over the medium term, the Covid-19 pandemic bears unprecedented challenges both for China’s international role, and for urban communities around the world, struggling and learning to coexist with the virus. In this context, the goal of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to design prosperous global cities from Asia to Europe as a geoeconomic and geopolitical power-projection tool faces new and unexpected hurdles. All the more seeing as the BRI is expected to deeply transform the structure and function of cities along its trajectory. Is the role of Global Cities on the New Silk Road about to change? If so, then how? What specific impact is Covid-19 having on the BRI? And will a new “urban paradigm” emerge out of the pandemic?