A world tailor-made for Beijing

Belt and Road Initiative (Bri) and Global Security Initiative (Gsi) take China off the ground in Olympus of the Great Powers. What are the prospects for President Xi’s multilateral ambitions? An excerpt from our latest Asia-Pacific ebook dedicated tothe military and commercial movements that take place in the region. Click here to request it

From a nation virtually isolated by global dynamics and Champion of globalization the step is short. At least for Xi Jinping China. In 2017, his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos was full of expressions that signaled a further step forward for the foreign policy of the People’s Republic: “Win-win cooperation”, “Human community with a common destiny” and “Sharing of the benefits of globalization “. Just four years earlier, in 2013, the Chinese president launched an initiative that would mark the history of international relations: the Belt and Road Initiative, the to Silk Road which today has 146 associated countries, which make up 64% of the world population and 30% of world GDP. In recent years, Beijing has invested around the 85 Billion the year.

That Beijing is ready to wear the hat of great power is something that can be understood by observing the strategies developed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in recent decades. In the 1990s, China was committed to adopting the strategy of “Go out” (出去 战略 chūqù zhànlüè), a process that, from a simple opening to investment in international trade, takes on all the shadows of global leadership. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) contains many different souls, a symptom of pragmatism Chinese and of the Circumstances: Infrastructure investments to connect China with the world (in different countries together), a platform to expand the market for Chinese products, a sponge that is capable of absorbing excess capital and resources that no longer drive growth at home. But also development aid, school and vocational training projects, and energy. There was talk of “Health Silk Road” during the pandemic to bring health care workers and devices where they were needed. Today we are talking about the “Digital Silk Road” to represent a wide range of initiatives, ranging from the export of Chinese e-commerce platforms to cross-border digital payments. Furthermore, the list does not fall on the topics of environmental sustainability and finance.

The BRI is – and was – the Territory Test more convincing for Chinese diplomacy, which here plays its role as one Coordinator In the benefactor. To support the projects, China has established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Aiib) and launched a series of dialogue platforms on a geographical or common interest basis. An exercise in multilateral cooperation that, despite its facilities, puts Beijing at the heart of this new diplomatic ecosystem. Xi Jinping underlines Beijing’s commitment to Multilateral Dialogue Mechanisms (UN, WHO, WTO …) against US unilateralism, but is looking for a safe path. If all post-war international organizations created a world fit for Washington, we must prepare a world fit for Beijing. The Western “recipe” for getting out of underdevelopment through liberalization and more disciplined fiscal policy, the so-called Washington Consensus, does not seem to be achieving the desired results. Here, so that some analysts speak Beijing Consensus as an alternative to the global South, a strategy that finds its main engine precisely in the initiatives of the BRI. Invest to grow, build roads and railways where it is necessary to bring jobs and trade. A strategy that also serves to help the poor West of the People’s Republic.

It remains to be seen how much (and if) the pandemic helped change that view. Aware of the economic, political and security challenges of the BRI, China is trying to focus its efforts better. An attempt to increase the balance, which implies a more prudent management of economic resources, by the performance of state-owned enterprises (over 70% of the companies concerned) and of Beijing’s reputation worldwide. According to critics, among the problems of the BRI projects is the “debt” of countries accepting projects they can not afford. Credit that after one to study of US AidData amount to at least $ 385 billion. Therefore, Beijing would write off risky projects and cancel part of the debt of its partners.

We will see that this phase of the adjustments is a symptom of the so-called imperial oversight in the coming years. The theory proposed by Paul Kennedy in 1987 about the competition between powers and history, Theimperial overstretch it points to a phase of expansion beyond its current military and economic capabilities and today China would be concerned with its ambitions and the reality of the facts. The narrative for expanding the security dialogue abroad seems to support this idea of ​​the rise of the great powers to Olympus. And China could not do it without putting its hand on the complex network of neighborhood relations over security (at least for the time being regionally). This is what many thought, when on April 21, 2022 at the Boao Forum for Asia, Xi Jinping launched the. Global Security Initiative (Gsi). A proposal that also has ambitions in its name that go beyond the Asian horizon. FOR READING FIND HOW TO GET THE EBOOK

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