CSS Current Affairs 2019 Question: What is China’s Strategic Vision behind ‘The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)’, also known as ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR)?
One Belt One Road (OBOR) also known as Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road (MSR), is a development campaign & programme adopted by China involving infrastructure development and investments of countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. It will be opened to all nations and are not limited by geography. It will boost trade and stimulate economic growth across the world. The planned completion date for “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) is 2049.
Many economists believe that OBOR is not only a regional policy but a grand global strategy for achieving the “Chinese Dream”. It is also believed to be an ambitious strategy challenging the US economy. In OBOR enterprise, the southern route is the best and most critical gateway.
Seven International Economic Corridors
In May 2015, specific policies regarding, One Belt One Road (OBOR) were revealed. China stated that ‘seven international economic corridors’ would be created. The estimated amount of investment for OBOR is $890 billion. The ‘seven international economic corridors’ include:
- China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor
- New Eurasia Land Bridge Economic Corridor
- China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor
- China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor
- China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
- BCIM Economic Corridor
- 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR)
Characteristics of the OBOR Concept
The first characteristic is a future extension of diplomatic routes and second is the new aspects sought after by the Xi Jinping administration. The concept of OBOR has a strategic vision of China for globalization and connectivity with Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific Islands.
China’s Strategic Dimensions
China’s Strategic Vision behind ‘The Belt and the Road Initiative’:
- OBOR aims at bringing in the globalization through strategic connectivity with Asia, Europe, and Africa. It emphasizes on connecting hydrocarbon supply reservoirs and manufacturing consumer communities.
- OBOR aims at connecting developing countries with developed countries in a strategic interconnection like never before.
- Regional Integrations with OBOR can end geo-political mess by projecting geo-economics over geopolitics.
- OBOR provides multiple options to China in pursuit of a vision of ‘Peaceful Rise’.
- OBOR in relation to energy security will assist China in increasing energy sources through greater access to Russian and Iranian oil and gas. This will be achieved by linking with pipeline networks from Russia and Central Asia.
- BRI is likely to increase China’s economic and political grip as a creditor.
It can be concluded that OBOR is not only an economic enterprise but a ‘Comprehensive National Security Undertaking’. Through OBOR, the Chinese government hopes to stimulate economies of northeast, central, and western regions of China, whose economies have fallen behind, but unlike the Western Development project, China is seeking to open up the eastern region to the outside world to an even greater degree. Pakistan, as well as China, should realize each other’s compulsions and limitations in threats and challenges en-route by forces harmful to OBOR. No amount of diplomatic skills can be qualified as enough for managing challenges and bringing in sums for this super strategic journey.
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