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China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” to link Asia, Europe, and Africa through a vast network of infrastructure projects represents an ambitious undertaking, the implications of which are not yet well understood.
In the October 2017 issue of the Journal of Democracy, International Forum for Democratic Studies director Shanthi Kalathil reviews Nadege Rolland’s monograph, China’s Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (National Bureau of Asian Research, 2017). Through her research of Chinese-language sources, including interviews with Chinese Communist Party officials and Chinese policy analysts, Rolland examines the drivers and objectives behind China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
To see the [Belt and Road Initiative] as merely a wish list of construction projects or China’s latest plan for Eurasian connectivity is to miss the forest for the trees, Rolland suggests. In fact, the plan represents a direct strike at the rules-based system championed by democracies and, ultimately, at the liberal international order.
Shanthi Kalathil, “Globalization Chinese-Style”
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