Daniel Halliday
Mar 10 · Last update 23 days 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?
Stats of Viewpoints
Just propaganda
0 agrees
0 disagrees
An innovative initiative that could help eradicate poverty
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Already leading to economic colonialism
1 agrees
0 disagrees
China’s environmental track record may threaten the BRI
1 agrees
0 disagrees
A real test to Chinese diplomacy or a questionable gamble
1 agrees
0 disagrees
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Just propaganda

The OBOR initiative has no a firm structure, actual routes, no membership commitments and no clear budget, in this way it is in fact more of a branding campaign than an infrastructure initiative. Behind this campaign is a clear challenge to America’s global economic hegemony, so in this way the OBOR initiative should be viewed as part of the China’s public relations retaliation in the US-China trade war. Bowing to America’s economic will currently comes at a price, cooperate with American corporations or else face a country with a history of instigating regime change against countries that refuse to. China is trying to challenge this with an alternative vision, providing massive investment to coerce nations into a new China-centric global economy, but this vision currently remains more of a Chinese propaganda campaign than an actualised proposal.

beltandroad.news/2019/08/18/one-belt-one-road-is-just-a-marketing-campaign

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 29
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DH edited this paragraph
The OBOR initiative has no a firm structure, actual routes, no membership commitments and no clear budget, in this way it is in fact more of a branding campaign than an infrastructure initiative. Behind this campaign is a clear challenge to America’s global economic hegemony, so in this way the OBOR initiative should be viewed as part of the China’s public relations retaliation in the US-China trade war. Bowing to America’s economic will currently comes at a price, cooperate with American corporations or else face a country with a history of instigating regime change against countries that refuse to. China is trying to challenge this with an alternative vision, providing massive investment to coerce nations into a new China-centric global economy, but this vision currently remains more of a Chinese propaganda campaign than an actualised proposal.

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.

While the scale of the project is on going it is still not easy to gauge how China’s investments will affect the countries they are investing in. But it is clear from the multi million and billion dollar contracts that China has signed with some of the world’s most impoverished countries that it will undoubtedly reinvigorate their economies and generate on-going employment on a massive scale. 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 qz.com/983460/obor-an-extremely-simple-guide-to-understanding-chinas-one-belt-one-road-forum-for-its-new-silk-road

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 29
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DH edited this paragraph
While the scale of the project is on going it is still not easy to gauge how China’s investments will affect the countries they are investing in. But it is clear from the multi million and billion dollar contracts that China has signed with some of the world’s most impoverished countries that it will undoubtedly reinvigorate their economies and generate on-going employment on a massive scale. 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.

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. From Asia to Europe, China has been signing deals with countries with troubled economic records, which is particularly the case with developing countries such as Sri Lanka, but also true of countries like Italy, leading some critics to label the One Belt One Road initiative “debt-Trap diplomacy”.

Big questions still remain over China’s plans following any possible defaults on loan repayments, a very likely outcome considering the amount of risky loans China has signed off as part of the OBOR Initiative. Furthermore, development projects such as the $3.6 billion Standard Guage Railway in Mombasa are helping to fuel corruption at a local level giving rise to additional negative outcomes. China’s silence on a workable contingency plans for unpaid loans, development downsides, and leaked evidence of sovereignty waivers being written into Kenyan port construction contracts specifically, 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 aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/italy-joins-china-belt-road-initiative-190321170015949.html beltandroad.news/2019/04/10/port-of-kenya-takeover-sparks-neo-colonialism-outcry

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 29
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DH edited this paragraph
Big questions still remain over China’s plans following any possible defaults on loan repayments, a very likely outcome considering the amount of risky loans China has signed off as part of the OBOR Initiative. Furthermore, development projects such as the $3.6 billion Standard Guage Railway in Mombasa are helping to fuel corruption at a local level giving rise to additional negative outcomes. China’s silence on a workable contingency plans for unpaid loans, development downsides, and leaked evidence of sovereignty waivers being written into Kenyan port construction contracts specifically, have led many to believe the initiative is a front for neo-colonialism.

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 alone, 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.

That's not to mention the effect of the environment of public health; China’s poor ecological track record is also having a disastrous effect on air quality in most major cities, falling way below international health standards. This may prove disastrous for the Chinese government even as state caused public health crises could lead to unrest, and exporting that model will likely cause similar problems internationally. China’s BRI has already had a negative effect on fish stocks, destroying livelihoods along the Mekong River, with fish migration routes being disrupted by dam construction as part of the BRI's infrastructure plans. Furthermore the World Wildlife Fund estimates over 1,700 critically biodiverse locations and 265 threatened species will be adversely affected by BRI, while 800 invasive species could threaten ecosystems further.

cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-environmental-crisis theaseanpost.com/article/chinas-bri-negatively-impacting-environment

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 28
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DH edited this paragraph
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 alone, 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.

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.

It is clearly in China’s interests to diversify their trade, and especially concerning their energy suppliers and the large market of Europe, it is less clear cut though if it represents a clear net positive to all countries that cooperate in the BRI. Concerns have already been raised in various countries over fear of China’s investments in ports leading to an over-reliance on a single source of development, coupled with concerns over the levels of local employment that is being generated. China seems to be adopting a quick start and slow refinement policy in its implementation of BRI, a plan that could be hugely risky considering some of the states that China are partnering with.

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

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 28
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DH edited this paragraph
https://www.mingalarrealestateconversation.com/blog/subhasis-ghosh-apex-group/benefiting-belt-and-road-initiative-and-port-park-city-model/benefits https://citizentruth.org/china-africa-belt-and-road-initiative/
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