China’s new project “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) has been discussed for some time in the U.S. The enormous project is China’s “global” proposition. It involves over 60 countries, half of the world’s population, for a turnover of billions of dollars, an investment bank owned by China, AIIB, and a fund created especially by Beijing. For China, it’s a platform available to everyone with a win-win logic, which could launch the so-called “trade route imperialism”: Beijing’s idea of globalization.
As Giorgio Grappi wrote for an issue of Limes on the relations between the U.S. and China in light of Trump’s arrival at the White House, “We can sum up the emergence of a trade route policy with the following: a central network as the framework; various bodies to create and govern the areas involved, internal regulations, operational processes and common standards (…) securing strategic sites.”
The new Silk Road is a platform then; China is giving everyone access on various conditions: that the areas affected by the sea and land routes are “peaceful,” presumably free from internal political intervention in the different countries, in accordance with the “non-interference” principle that has always been dear to Beijing.