One Belt One Road
One belt one road
- History and Background of OBOR
OBOR is a project conceived in the brains of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, with an ambition of economic, commercial and infrastructural development to improve cooperation and connectivity among 78 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe, also known as the “Project of the century” (Seth, 2020). It was first mentioned in the year 2013 with the aim of recreating the ancient Silk Road connecting Asia and Europe, but over the years, the scope of the project has been expanded to accommodate new states and inventiveness. It’s also known as the belt and road initiative (BRI). The project includes the building of great connectivity of roads, railroads, seaports, power lines, oil and gas pipelines, and infrastructure related to them.
Declared by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the silk road initiative also known as BRI, focuses to put money in infrastructural projects like power lines, seaports and land-based roads among others in central, west and southern Asia, Africa and Europe. (Inton, 2017). Chinese economic growth was as a result of over reliance on foreign investment and export, and in the process china had almost exhausted its own foreign investments and credits to guarantee markets and production inputs needed to aid for the exportation.
It covers two parts, the first one called belt, which is basically land-based connecting china to central Asia, East and Western Europe. The second one is called the road which is sea-based connecting china to Africa, south East Asia and central Asia as well.
Its chief importance is to boost the domestic growth of china as well as a plan for diplomacy economically. China anticipates the project will initiate and make room for Chinese goods and enhance the manufacturing driving force to earn more control to export easily and with considerable cost as well.
- Pros and Cons of OBOR
Among many countries that are signing the agreement, like Kyrgyzstan and Tajistan are optimistic about OBOR due to huge investment by China in local economic projects within those countries. Other countries like Nepal that just joined OBOR and Pakistan are set to benefit from Trans boundary connection and multibillion CPEC to join southwestern china to and through Pakistan, for them to access sea routes.
Other nations view it as a master plan to gain control at a regional and global level by constructing and running a trade network to trade china based products and services. Another criticism is that the initiative involves promoting projects that uses enterprises and labor from Chinese, an example from Center for Strategic Studies approximates that 90% of the initiative’s projects are done by companies from china. In addition to the above, some view the initiative as a way of china’s aim of solving falling profit margins, increasing debt, reducing market opportunities, and excess capital and superabundance problems through expanding Chinese economic ventures and operation geographically. An increasing number of countries are becoming reluctant to get along with the initiative as well due to the fact that they will have to borrow loans to fund the projects and they are also not sure if they (projects) will have a positive impact on the economy and in generating enough foreign income to settle the loans.
- Relevance of OBOR
The initiative has a significant potential of improving the socio-economic making of over 78 countries where more than 50% of the world population lies hence creating a stable political environment and peace across the world. Belt that passes across countries boundaries’ will indeed expand economic activities in different countries as they increase and enhance local transport infrastructure to cone t to major OBOR centers. For example, the high speed train will certainly give access to some Russian cities to inter connect on the trans-Siberian rail line to one of the OBOR stations. Another more important advantage of OBOR is the fact that it will greatly promote understanding between people from different countries and tolerance since they will need to collaborate with each other peacefully for a win-win situation (Tow, 2017)
Despite the above relevance, the initiative is faced with some other few challenges including but not limited to potential conflict or tension geographically that could come out of other powerful countries like Russia and United states strategies on central and southern Asian regions. India on the other hand views the initiative as a threat in form of competition. In addition, the initiative will benefit small countries which are developing and no room for developed countries who view the initiative as china’s way of dominating countries around it. Most developing countries are faced with inefficiency in their administration and corruption which may pose a big challenge to the initiative as well as terrorism (Singh, 2019)
Inton. (2017, March 24). https://www.cadtm.org/local/cache-vignettes/L640xH517/map-6cc07.png?1593781272.
Seth. (2020, September 28). Understanding One Belt One Road (OBOR). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/one-belt-one-road-obor.asp#:~:text=OBOR%20is%20a%20project%20that,new%20territories%20and%20development%20initiatives
Singh, K. D. (2019). Strength and challenges of OBOR initiative: Indian perspective. Journal of National Law University Delhi, 6(1), 65-77. https://doi.org/10.1177/2277401719857865
Tow. (2017, June 12). One Belt One Road initiative: Its meaning and significance. China Business Review. https://www.chinabusinessreview.com/one-belt-one-road-initiative-its-meaning-and-significance/#:~:text=The%20OBOR%20initiative%20proposes%20to,and%20peace%20in%20the%20world
References (Centered and not capitalized)
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