President Xi Jinping has championed what China calls the "One Belt, One Road" initiative involving billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure including roads, railways, ports and power grids.
"Obviously, for us it is essential that the opportunities are opened up for all including Europeans," the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, told students at the elite Tsinghua University in Beijing.
"I know that some in the world are concerned about a more confident and outward looking China. I do not share this view," she said.
Representatives of 110 countries, including most Asian leaders, will gather in Beijing next month for the New Silk Road summit, China's biggest diplomatic event of the year.