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International Organizations. Belt and Road Initiative Essay

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Updated: Aug 7th, 2021

Introduction

The Belt and Road initiative (BRI) proposed by China is a program developed to connection Asia, Africa, and Europe with the help of maritime networking as well as six corridors. These connections are indented to improve the integration between regions, increase trade, as well as facilitate economic growth. The name of the initiative is a reference to the Silk Road that was established two thousand years ago during the Han Dynasty to facilitate trade relations between China and the Mediterranean via Eurasia. Despite the seemingly progressive message of the Belt and Road, concerns have been raised as to whether China was planning an expansive project that would reconfigure the way in which the global economy is being managed. In the current environment, The United States are leading the economic world order, which is characterized by multilateralism and multi-stakeholderism. Comparing the intentions of the world order led by China and the United States is imperative for understanding the Belt and Road initiative and the attempts of China in pursuing the goal.

Advantages & Disadvantages

BRI intends to include the Silk Road Economic Belt, which is a trans-continental passage that connects Chine with the Southeast Asia, South and Central Asia, and Europe by Land. It also includes a 21st century Maritime Silk Route, which connects the coastal regions with the Southeast and South Asia, the South Pacific, as well as the Middle East and Eastern Africa in order to reach Europe. The key priorities of the initiative include the coordination of policies, the interconnectivity of infrastructures, efficient trade, financial integration, as well as the connection between populations.

While the West is currently involved in the contemporary order, the Belt and Road process intends to pave a path to an alternative world that is associated with new universal values. As mentioned by Bruno Maçães in his book Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order, BRI builds upon the earlier successes of China that can facilitate the establishment of the new world order (11). For example, value chains are at the center of the strategy and have been key for helping the country reintegrated into the global market under the liberal platforms established by Den Xiaoping. Unfortunately, the growth trajectory of value chains has been driven by widespread unskilled labor, which has limited capacity to drive growth in the modern global worldwide economy.

The recent developments in the political sphere points to the fact that the United States is unique in its influence on the shaping of interactions between countries. The country is a maritime power, with its physical geography being both an asset and a liability. However, recent news reports have mentioned that the world order under the USA’s rule is coming to an end due to the threat from the US-China war as well as the potential of a disruptive technological Cold War, as mentioned by Browne for Bloomberg. The treat from China’s technological advancements coupled with the open planning of the BRI present a significant challenge for the world order led by the US.

Nevertheless, despite posing a threat to the US in terms of governing the relations between countries, BRI represents is highly controversial, especially in the context of borders conflict in the Indian subcontinent (Maçães 14). The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is evidence of the Pakistan’s role as the ‘crown jewel’ in China’s intentions to establish closer relations with the Middle East, which is concerning for neighboring India. As for Europe’s position, it is imperative to mention that the region is in a complicated position of being unable to oppose the economic involvement of China into international affairs while also being incapable to participate. While there are several scenarios associated with the development of BRI, it is imperative to consider the hypothetical case in which China replaces the United States as the main political and economic power. In order to do so, the country should present the global community a vision of an international order that is both functional and legitimate. Today, as China uses the liberal system of Europe as a framework for investment, the impact of the country’s technologies as well as limited transparency creates a context for the increased influence of China.

Conclusion

The discussion on China’s intentions to reach success under the Belt and Road initiative involves considerations on the real reasons for the process. Despite the message of improving communications between countries, evidence shows that China is hoping to determine more profitable outlets for foreign exchange reserves that would create new markets for Chinese organizations. Furthermore, Chinese companies that produce electronic products are expected to get an opportunity to export standards and receive fees instead of conforming to international rules and pay fees. Overall, the Chinese world order is focused not on creating positive connections between countries but rather challenge global society as a product of Wester liberalism.

Works Cited

Browne, Andy. Bloomberg. 2019, Web.

Maçães, Bruno. Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order. Hurst and Company Limited, 2019.

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