Daniel Halliday
Mar 10 · Last update 3 mo. ago.
What do you think of China’s Belt and Road Initiative?
China’s proposed 'Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road' (or One Belt One Road Initiative) is a controversial development strategy proposed by the Chinese government. This set of worldwide infrastructure investment plans intend to model modern transport and trade infrastructure on old Silk Road trade routes. What do you think of these plans and why do they remain so controversial?
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A real test to Chinese diplomacy or a questionable gamble
0 agrees
0 disagrees
China’s environmental track record may threaten the BRI
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Already leading to economic colonialism
0 agrees
0 disagrees
An innovative initiative that could help eradicate poverty
0 agrees
0 disagrees
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A real test to Chinese diplomacy or a questionable gamble

While economic imperialism may be overstated, monopoly and security related concerns are a real risk for China’s wide scale infrastructure investment projects. China’s non-interference methods may be really put to the test and China may lose out economically if countries choose to aggressively or militarily take back Chinese infrastructure, default on or refuse to pay back loans. Additionally, while covert plans to expand militarily may have been overstated, there remain real questions over whether the BRI is addressing a market demand or China’s geopolitical interests internationally.

mingalarrealestateconversation.com/blog/subhasis-ghosh-apex-group/benefiting-belt-and-road-initiative-and-port-park-city-model/benefits

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China’s environmental track record may threaten the BRI

Despite the Chinese government's stated goals for environmental reform actual change to policy and effective implementation surrounding the biggest issues remain fruitless, while China’s environmental footprint is far greater than any other single country. Exporting China’s industrial model across the globe while not addressing such a catastrophic ecological character would effectively just magnify China’s problems moving forward. Environmental risks are so alarming in China that they now pose a serious risk to the country’s economy and are thought to have cost the country 3.5% of its GDP in 2010, if these costs are allowed to spiral out of control expensive projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative could be the first to be reigned in.

cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-environmental-crisis

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Already leading to economic colonialism

As China is internationally funding so much global infrastructure with debt, worries are starting to emerge in many countries as to China’s real intentions. The massive amount of loans and threats of economic acquisition have led to heightened fears in many Kenyan organisations, have led to the backing out of Chinese deals in Malaysia, and even mass protests in Vietnam and the Philippines. Big questions still remain over China’s plans following any defaults on loan repayments, a very likely outcome considering the amount of risky loans China has signed off as part of the One Belt One Road Initiative. Likewise China’s silence on a contingency plans for unpaid loans, and leaked evidence of sovereignty waivers being written into Kenyan port construction contracts, have led many to believe the initiative is a front for neo-colonialism.

zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-26/china-take-over-kenyas-largest-port-over-unpaid-chinese-loan

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An innovative initiative that could help eradicate poverty

China’s ambitious plans involve setting up a near global mega-infrastructure as a foundation for regional economic growth, in an effort to lift millions out of poverty and place China at the heart of new network of global trade. In his paper on the 'OBOR' initiative for the UN, Professor Daniel Drache of York University points out that China’s strategy is one of sponsoring regional manufacturing hubs, so that investments are not tied to natural resources in a typical Western investment style. Furthermore China’s development banks are providing investment to regions and nation’s Western banks will not invest in, using their $1 trillion of policy banking assets, and economic position as the world largest exporter, to fund these massive manufacturing and infrastructure projects. The proposed innovation that China wishes to carry out in the manufacturing, logistics and transport industries should be an exciting prospect for many people and economies across the globe. un.org/development/desa/dspd/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/04/One-Road-Many-Dreams-The-Impact-Of-China%E2%80%99s-Global.pdf

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