Open Forum

Most international attention has so far been focused on Xi’s second “link” – infrastructure building -  and on whether, in spite of its own significant domestic economic problems, Beijing will be able to fulfill its promise of massive investment in the region, more than $1 trillion in total. Little attention has been devoted to the other “links” and to how, taken together, they comprise a Chinese vision for regional integration. The trans-Eurasian transportation network is, indeed, only the physical manifestation of China’s plan for deepening relations with its neighbors at all levels and only the first step in the creation of a regional order that will by 2049—the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC—integrate the economies of the Eurasian landmass and tie them more tightly to China.

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