TAIPEI — China’s “one belt and one road” initiative could usher in a new era that sees China as the undisputed geopolitical powerhouse in the region, experts say.
The initiative will establish new routes linking Asia, Europe and Africa. It has two parts — a new “Silk Road economic belt” linking China to Europe that cuts through mountainous regions in Central Asia; and the “maritime Silk Road” that links China’s port facilities with the African coast and than pushes up through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping revealed during a speech at the Boao Forum on March 28 in Hainan, China, that China intends to push forward on the initiative that many are comparing to the ancient Silk Road.
“The idea of one belt and one road is based mainly on the economy, but has political and strategic components and implications,” said Zhuang Jianzhong, vice director of Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Center for National Strategy Studies. “It aims for the joint development, common prosperity and for energy security, too.”
Since improving the region’s economy could weaken the root cause of terrorism and help stabilize Central Asia and the Middle East, Zhuang said the US should be more positive about the initiative as a stabilizing force for good in the region.
Read More:China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Strategy.