China’s New Silk Road: The Most Important Strategic Project in History

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Photo credit: Resumen Latinoamericano
Photo credit: Resumen Latinoamericano

By: Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / May 12, 2017

The Chinese project called “Silk Belt and Road Initiative” is the most ambitious plan in regard of economic and commercial integration that was never designed in the history of humanity. Even though the main objective is to create a great space that allows the direct communication between Asia and Europe, at the background they will be building a platform that will propitiate the weakening of the American hegemony for the first time over a century.

This magnificent work, at the Chinese imaginary, looks and has the same dimension of the Great Wall and the Great Channel, which many centuries after their construction they still are an expression of the splendeur and majesty of the Chinese culture. This new old project comprehends the economic Belt of the maritime and terrestrial Silk Roads of XXI century, which were presented for the first time by President Xi Jinping in September and October 2013 during visits he made to Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

The historical sustain of the project is based on the spirit of the old Silk Road, that allowed to promote “peace and cooperation, aperture and inclusion, mutual benefits and teachings” for all the countries. A spirit that has to be continued in the future through a modern multinational network that connects China with the world through common development of all the involved countries.

The idea of the Belt and Road Initiative includes 4 layouts, 3 terrestrial and 1 maritime, that will help to connect the Eastern part of China with Central Asia, Western Asia, Europe and Southern Asia, the last one through the maritime path. All the terrestrial and maritime transports will communicate Chinese ports and cities with around 60 countries of Asia, Africa and Europe. According to information provided by the Chinese government, the plan will incorporate the regions where over of the 70% of the petroleum reserves lie, where the 70% of the global population live and where the 55% of the global GDP is produced.

With the objective of beginning to concretize this proposal, on May 14 and 15, Beijing will celebrate the Forum for the International Cooperation “One Belt, One Route”, with the participation of at least 20 chiefs of State and Government, around 50 leaders of international organizations, 100 officials of ministerial level, 1200 delegates, academician, businessmen and media representatives from over 110 countries to debate about commercial development and the construction of the infrastructure along the 7500 km of terrestrial extension and the 5000 nautical miles of maritime road, with the final objective to create a more open, efficient, strong and tight cooperation frame, and, at the same time, to achieve a fairer, more reasonable and equilibrated system of international ruling, as the convocatory elaborated by the People’s Republic of China said.

At the start of the Forum, over 100 countries and international organizations had already joined the proposal, transforming it in the major project of its kind through history. Over 40 countries have already signed agreements of cooperation with China, as also have done multilateral spaces like the UN’s General Assembly and Security Council, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, which positively debated the cooperation that this new Chinese Initiative will generate.

Similarly, among the advances that may be pointed as concrete background for the Road projection, it is worthy to mention the Padma Bridge at Bangladesh, the Corridor China-Pakistan and the fast trains of the China Railway company towards European destinations. Also, commerce between China and countries located along the “Belt and Road” during 2016 augmented to 913 billion dollars, number which corresponds to the fourth part of the total commercial volume of the world’s second economy. In that way, Chinese companies invested over 50 billion dollars and helped building 56 zones of economic and commercial cooperation at 20 countries of this new space, generating around 1.100 billion dollars in tax revenues and 180 thousand in local employment. At this field, from now on, the creation of six corridors will be thrusted: the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, the China-Asia corridor, the China-Western Asia corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula, the China-Pakistan corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor. Along these corridors a transport and commerce network will also be organized through Eurasia, setting a solid base for the trans regional and regional development plans.

But may be, the biggest global indecency of the initiative will manifest on the financial area, especially since China has aimed 40 billion dollars to the Sustainment Fund for the project “Belt and Road”. At this context, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was created with the purpose to give credits in order to improve Asia’s infrastructure. This great financial infrastructure already counts with 70 countries and has borrowed over 2 billion dollars. The “Belt and Road Initiative”, and all the financial arrangements that escort it, is being used by China to export yuans, as part of the plan to position the bill as reserve currency at the world in order to compete against dollars, euros, yens, British pounds and Canadian dollars as a mean of international payment. The yuan was already admitted by the International Monetary Fund as a reserve currency in 2015. According to the economists Oscar Ugarteche and José Luis Cal from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (NAUM) “…the Chinese efforts to keep positioning the yuan as a reserve currency are still strong due to the tendency of depreciation of the recent two. The Mega project of the Silk Route promesses to be a fierce measure to achieve that objective. The exit of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership is really positive for China since it will allow a new possibility of trade with these countries through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership beyond those included in the Silk Route”.

As a sign of the times, China, besides cracking the strong protectionist practice that pretends to unchain the new American government, gave the strongest blow to the United States in all its history… and without shooting a single bullet, which settles a unique pattern in the future of humanity. The American power knows it, and it is trying to confront it in the terrain where it still holds great power: the military and especially the naval, in the maritime space that surrounds China, probably the most fragile field of the Asian giant. This is what explains the military escalation on behalf of the USA in the conflicts at the South China Sea, which China and its allies pretend to resolve through dialogue and peaceful negotiation.

At the end of the forum, the participant countries will surely count with a new tool of multilateral and multisectoral cooperation that should help as a solid base to advance towards economic development and the solution of the most intense problems that humanity faces, in an environment of peace and wealthy international harmony.

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