Belt and Road Initiative, geo-politics, geo-strategy, China, Europe, Asia, Africa
China is a very interesting country, and the entire world is looking at it. This is not only because of its spectacular rise in the world stage and the fact that it has become one of the largest markets in the world. China has become a superpower economically as well as militarily. Simultaneously it has a penchant for doing things differently – from the established norms and practices, as followed primarily by the West. It is likely that China will be in a position to challenge USA shortly as the number one power in the world. It is also likely that China will soon be influencing world events in a major way. These are the primary reasons for undergoing this study.
The specific objective is to understand in detail one of the grandest and most ambitious schemes floated by any country in modern times - that of the Belt and Road Initiative by China. The author is sure that this project will have a very substantial impact on the strategies and politics of the entire world. The originality of this study is that it takes a macro-view of the entire initiative and dissects the implications for each major region of the entire world - in terms of strategy as well as politics. It wishes to connect Asia and Europe and also bring Africa into the project and thus form a unified market known as Afro-Eurasia. China, also known as PRC (People’s Republic of China), has developed tremendously in the past few decades and has now spare capacities as well as resources. So, it has initiated the project BRI wherein they are giving loans to underdeveloped countries to build infrastructure of these nations.
There are two primary routes which PRC aims to develop. One of them is the land route called the BELT, which connects Europe to China over land. The other is the maritime route through the oceans which again connects the Eastern parts of China right up to Europe – and including Africa in between. The countries along these routes are being helped by China to develop their infrastructure like railways or seaports so that they may also emerge as modern logistics and distribution hubs for transporting goods between China and Europe. PRC thus ensures that it receives its continuous supply of energy requirements and other commodities for consumption. It will also be able to increase its exports right up to Western Europe through these routes which will save them a lot of time and costs also. Some nations are however skeptical about the real intentions of China. These countries think that China is emerging as a major superpower of the world and one day, it might want to dominate this part of the world entirely. Whether China has military intentions or not will be clear sometime later. As of today, China claims that its intentions are completely peaceful.
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