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Sinica backgrounder: Will One Belt, One Road remake the global order?

2 months ago
Amedeo Tumolillo
or the Aug. 18 episode of the Sinica Podcast, get up to speed on a major topic of Kaiser and Jeremy's discussion with the scholar James Millward: China's One Belt, One Road initiative, also known as the new Silk Road.

For the Aug. 18 episode of the Sinica Podcast, SupChina's editors assembled a few links to get you up to speed on a major topic of Kaiser and Jeremy's discussion with the scholar James Millward: China's One Belt, One Road initiative, also known as the new Silk Road.

The ambitious plan, announced by Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to deepen the ties between Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe with the development of infrastructure and trade routes across land and sea that are inspired by the ancient corridors of commerce that made up the original Silk Road. China has so far pledged to invest nearly $1 trillion in the effort, and the plan would involve more than 60 countries. The benefits to China are numerous: New markets could absorb the nation's excess industrial capacity and inject fresh opportunities into its slowing economy; the country could become a central player in the power dynamics of a broader region; and political instability in some areas — which concerns Communist Party leaders for a number of reasons, including its effect on the far western Xinjiang region — may be lessened.

Many nations, eager for a slice of China's extraordinary wealth, have embraced the plan. Others have eyed it suspiciously and asked if it can be the "win-win" for everyone that Xi Jinping claims when such a massive undertaking is certain to result in major changes to the global order.

Enjoy your reading and the related podcast: It’s all connected: Silk Roads old and new.

Silk network:

  • Map: Railroads, pipelines and ports that are existing, proposed, planned or under construction as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative / Mercator Institute for China Studies
  • One Belt, One Road project finds inspiration in China's former imperial greatness and will test the nation's hands-off policy for regional security / Financial Times
  • Plan to build a new Silk Road bumps into geopolitical strains as countries fear becoming too intertwined with China / The New York Times
  • China’s ethnic and business ties to Singapore make the Southeast Asian city-state an important hub for Xi Jinping’s new Silk Road / Bloomberg
  • The 'most significant global economic initiative in the world today' wraps up the first cargo train journey between Wuyi, China, and Tehran / PBS NewsHour
  • A train from coastal China completes an 8,111-mile trip to Spain in its maiden journey on the world's longest rail link / Guardian
  • Podcast on Africa's role in One Belt, One Road / The China Africa Project
  • Chinese companies have set up 46 'cooperation zones' in countries along One Belt, One Road routes, and China's education ministry has established more than 60 deals with those nations / Global Times (state media)
  • Government publication on the One Belt, One Road initiative / National Development and Reform Commission
  • More about the podcast's guest: Chinese state media are unhappy with James Millward's analysis of Chinese history / China Media Project
By Amedeo Tumolillo
Amedeo Tumolillo is the editor-in-chief of SupChina and award-winning multimedia journalist. He previously worked at The New York Times and Spectrum. Follow him on Twitter at @hellotumo.

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