Open Forum

China’s Regionalism

Amid talk of US decline due to Trump’s troubled leadership, some were discussing if China is taking advantage of this opportunity. In particular, they reflected on the May summit, whether using the expression OBOR—as once popularized in China—or the current favorite BRI (Belt and Road Initiative). While there had been dismissive articles from outside of China—arguing inflated expectations, huge potential losses from projects not based on economic criteria, delayed timetables, and a vague vision lacking in specifics, to name a few—these often failed to capture China’s narrative or articulate the real goals of the initiative to serve as a starting point for assessing its prospects. However vague some of the specifics may be, BRI is a grand vision by the leadership to mobilize diverse resources, which encourages actors at many levels of administration and society to advance their own proposals to their own benefit. These include not only infrastructure, but also trade, monetary policy, exchanges, and integration across national boundaries. The range of such ideas suggests a comprehensive outlook aimed at satisfying the economic concerns and interests of many across China as well as transforming the country into the preponderant power in Asia, the influence of which reaches Africa and Europe. The BRI has become the most widely recognized vision of the “China Dream.”

Read full article at
facebook share twitter share google+ share