The Silk Road Scramble
This week on Facebook: To my mind it is clear that global hegemony, both politically economically and militarily, is what the Chinese expect gain from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Until now known as the OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative, its threat to Western Democracy should not be underestimated. ‘Crises and chaos’ is how the State media in China Xinhua described Western democracy.
China has absolutely no need to import the failing party political systems of other countries. 2017 Communist Party Congress.
When Chinese Premier Li Keying made an official visit to Australia in 2017, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had already delivered an unusually sharp warning to China on its need to move towards democracy. Bishop said that non-democracies such as China can thrive when participating in the present system, but history has shown that embracing liberal democratic institutions is the most successful foundation for nations seeking economic prosperity and social stability.
Far too few leaders of democracies bother to call out China’s autocratic rule, especially about the rights to political participation. What Australia Needs to Ask When China Visits
Democracy may have many different interpretations, but is always determined by a political elite. The Chinese, I am sure, will politely ignore Bishop’s remarks in their long march towards ‘a new world order’. The notion of ‘a new world order’ is largely ignored by everyone when it appears on film and yet it is portrayed as the future Utopia. Perhaps the Chinese OBOR model (One Belief One Regime) is a siren call to those elite politicians, which guarantees them a secure tenure of political office in this Utopia. Perhaps the outcome of what Peter Oborne described as The Triumph of The Political Class.
In the following video, Zhang WeiWei makes ‘The Chinese Way’ very appealing — a path to Utopia — and more inclusive than that proposed (but never brought to fruition), than that proposed by the EU¹.
‘New Silk Road’ and China’s hegemonic ambitions: An effective OBOR dialogue platform between the EU and China is still missing. This would ensure that the EU economic actors have a fair chance to compete for business through open, transparent and non-discriminatory procurement procedures with Chinese competitors. As long as China doesn’t make any effort to bridge the gap between OBOR and different EU approaches, move toward multilateralism, and address the EU values based on good governance, the rule of law, human rights and democracy, skepticism regarding OBOR will persist.
China is spending billions to make the world love it: China’s diplomats have been busy trying to convince foreigners that China’s rise is nothing to fear. Mr Xi speaks of a “new type of great-power relations”, suggesting that China can co-exist with America without the kind of rivalry that caused the two world wars. His “One Belt, One Road” scheme—involving Chinese investment in infrastructure across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe—aims to reinforce China’s image as a country eager to use its newfound wealth for the good of the world.
Just what is this One Belt, One Road thing anyway? While it might have originally had a comprehensible thesis behind it, OBOR has become such a popular buzzword that it’s next to impossible to lock down criteria for how any given project would or could fit into the overall initiative. Chinese officials tend to mention it regardless of what they’re trying to promote, like a US lawmaker talking about “freedom.”
China in 2018 — What Hangs in the Balance? Much of the extra growth will come from the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative in which China is heavily invested, Lee said. She noted that the project is “central to China,” and that in addition to the infrastructure spend, it would generate significant trade and other business opportunities. As the OBOR initiative progresses, it would also silence its skeptics in the European Union and elsewhere, she said. Lee noted that OBOR has been compared to the Marshall Plan, which in the post-war years drove rebuilding Western Europe, except that it is several times larger. “[It would] create more economic opportunity in parts of the world that have not been brought into the modern economy, such as Central Asia and others.”
China’s Big Bet on Soft Power: China is attempting to export its approach to development, which has lifted hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty. The Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, described by leaders as a vehicle for soft power, calls for spurring regional connectivity. It seeks to bring together the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road through a vast network of railways, roads, pipelines, ports, and telecommunications infrastructure that will promote economic integration from China, through Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, to Europe and beyond.
Referenced Articles & Books: A book or pdf (usually free), or simply a url that may sometimes link to a download that is also usually free. Sometimes a link to JSTOR is used, this lets you set up a free account allowing you to have 6 (interchangeable) books stored that you can read online.
¹Europe Scrambles to Benefit from China’s 21st-Century Silk Road (url): Who today remembers that in 1993, the European Union launched a “Transport Corridor Initiative Europe-Caucasus-Asia” (TRACECA) with Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, a number of other Caucasian states and five Central Asian states? The EU management of this initiative soon dubbed it “The Silk Road of the 21st Century.”
A.P. Herbert AI Albert Haddock Banks blog book books budget budget deficit C.S. Lewis censorship China Civil Service constitution Crime CRT cryptocurrency CWG debt deficit democracy economics economy education ethics EU euro fiat money Film France freedom of expression gdp government history human-rights inequality internet J M Keynes language Law Ludwig Von Mises Margaret Thatcher Matt morality music Musical national debt New Labour NHS opinion parody PFI poetry police Police & Crime Commissioners politics Quantitative Easing research school Screwtape Sir Ethelred Rutt K.C. social-media Social Media Social Welfare statistics T.E. Utley taxation terrorism Thatcher UK Unemployment USA Victor Hugo war war on terror
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