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?
- The initiative China is proposing, which it first brought to the attention of global leaders in 2013, is sometimes called One Belt, One Road.
- 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.
- One Belt is a reference to the land-based Silk Road trade belt that has its origins in the Han Dynasty.
- One Road is not actually a road at all, but the much wetter 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.
- 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.
- For now, some nations are instead referring to the plan as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- 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.
- 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.
- China has invited all countries to participate, and during a May meeting before delegates from over 100 nations he again pitched the concept.
- 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.”
- China’s new Silk Road: the One Belt One Road Explained
- Your guide to understanding OBOR, China’s New Silk Road Plan
- BRI Instead of OBOR – China Edits the English Name of its Most Ambitious International Project
- Silk Road ‘project of the century’
- How Britain will play a key role in the building of China’s new Silk Road