China has its eyes on a very big economic prize and it's dangling the proverbial golden carrot of a reward in front of the nations it would like to be partnered with along the way.

China wants to light a fire under the arse of global trade and it’s willing to spend the money to do it. Actually, it might really be more of a bonfire. One of the many problems with what China is proposing-resurrecting the ancient Silk Road trade routes and spending trillions on infrastructure to make it happen-is convincing the many nations it needs the support of to make this a reality that they have a feasible plan in place to do it. And of course, what would be in it for supporters and participants if they do decide to sign on.

Did You Know?

  1. The initiative China is proposing, which it first brought to the attention of global leaders in 2013, is sometimes called One Belt, One Road.
  2. That name might turn out to be more of a hindrance than anything else, with many nations admitting they already don’t really understand the complicated concept China is proposing and the name isn’t helping.
  3. One Belt is a reference to the land-based Silk Road trade belt that has its origins in the Han Dynasty.
  4. One Road is not actually a road at all, but the much wetter 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.
  5. To add to the confusion, it’s not just one of each for the belt and road, but several different routes over land and sea that will be involved.
  6.  For now, some nations are instead referring to the plan as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  7. Despite China’s very broad and ever-changing description of the project and no firm details in place, countries like the US and Britain are throwing their support behind it.
  8. China claims that this plan will unite the economies of nations around the globe with its initial steps of better networking Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
  9. China has invited all countries to participate, and during a May meeting before delegates from over 100 nations he again pitched the concept.
  10. China’s president, Xi Jinping, says his country’s proposal could help unify nations and countries need to work together to “uphold and grow an open world economy.”