The Chinese are laying out a grand economicdesign aimed at global supremacy. The One Belt One Road initiative isjust a part of it and it is the Project-of-the-Centuryas described by China’s leader Xi Jinping on May 14, by laying out his grandplan to remake the world order. Xi unveiled his pet initiative One Belt One Road initiative which seeks to establishBeijing at the centre of the world through a series of massive infrastructure projectslinking China with the rest of the world. India was the only major absenteefrom the OBOR summit as the opacity surrounding China’s goals coupled withIndia’s concerns over Chinese ambitions in the POK.If OBOR was so named with the hope of signalingthe world about the China’s benign intentions, the country’s leading thinkersare aware that more is at risk. Through OBOR China is for the first timestaking claim to be a global leader in with comparison to the USA.
Chinesethinkers believe that China has two option available a)Trade protectionism andb) To guide globalization into a new phase and form a new economic and worldorder. The first alternative takes the world back to square one which isunthinkable. The Chinese are at the historical turning point and must embracethis new phase. China’s push for global supremacy didn’t begin with the OBORbut it has emerged as the instrument through which China is making it’s intentions clear.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
For the two decadesChina is pushing its state owned enterprise to go out to secure the country’sinterest like for railways in Africa, acquiring and operating mines all overthe world from Latin America to Afghanistan and constructions of dams fromArgentina to Myanmar. What China is trying to do and to some extent hasachieved success in doing.More than his predecessor Xi has been moreaggressive in campaigning China’s role globally. After taking his office in2012 he gave a slogan ‘China’sDream’ of the great rejuvenation ofthe nation.
Every leader since Sun Yet Sen ha The Elephant vs. The Dragon s spoken ofchina’s revival but its Xi has pushed more than anyone. The key word in thisrevival is and it gets to the heart of what China is now trying to do with it’sforeign policy. It means securing China’s interest which in turn projectingChina as a great nation at the world stage.
It is no surprise that its leadersee their economy and traders as key to their global mission. In 1996, the leader Jiang Zemin pushed what werethen called a ‘Going-Out’ strategy for state owned enterprise. In 2001, Chinaaccounted for less than 5% of global trade but today it is the world largestexporter of about 14% share. Now it is the largest trading partner for morethan 100 countries and has emerged as the biggest source of FDI from Venezuela& Angola to Nepal and also EXIM bank are funding this investment andlending more in Africa.Gabbing up their resources, China is today theworld biggest producers and consumers of everything from coal & iron tocopper and rare earth.
The Belt and Road plan was first unveiled as a land ‘SilkRoad Economic Belt’ by Xi during 2013 on his state visit to Kazakhstan. Itis doing in 3 ways that will bring market closer, by setting up projectoverseas and through massive lending. For instance: to reduce reliance onMalacca Strait, China has opened a new pipeline with Myanmar connecting toKunming. Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea has been conceived to openup alternative access to different sea ports. In China it is said ‘in orderto become rich, it is by building roads and bridges’ whether this plan willwork is far from certain. Top Chinese economists have expressed fear that PRCis overextending itself.
In some countries the debt burden are increasing andimpossible to finance for governments, which are also facing criticism becauseChinese companies are given all contracts. Chinese companies can suffer fromdefaults. Xi Jinping says rather than carrying out reforms to privatize thestate sector, OBOR is designed to overcome overcapacity by exporting machines,steels and cement.Sri Lanka is among the debt struggling nation torepay the loans.
Miller says some policy makers in Beijing estimate that Chinais likely to lose 80% in Pakistan, 50% in Myanmar and 30% in Africa. The USA withits superior military remains the world superpowers but as Beijing commercialinterest overseas expands rapidly, it will naturally have greater stakesglobally. Opening of base in Djibouti and opening of Hambantota Port in SriLanka and Gwadar Port in Pakistan. The projects Beijing says are purelyeconomic but it is no coincidence that China is accelerating the expansion ofits Blue Water Navy. Through OBOR and CPEC, China is expecting almostevery aspect of its development model to Pakistan. It is clear that the entireinitiative is China-Centric and China-led. Chinatries to show the jointness but only from one side.
No wonder India boycottedthe summit of OBOR. The decision also factored in China’s unwillingness toaddress its concerns on CPEC which passes through POK. Delhi also faces themost difficult challenge of responding to rising Chinese influence by offeringan alternative by opening its market and integrating with the neighborhood. India needs to focus on delivering of existingcommitments because that is the place where China scores the maximum points.
But it is not in Delhi’s interest to allow relationship to degrade intooutright hostility. Delhi will be continuing involving itself with Beijing andalso building closer relationship with Japan and Australia. Internationalperception will only change once India is seen narrowing the gap with China.