How China is becoming a Champion for Global Trade

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With the rise of xenophobic and conservative politics around the west, the Chinese plan for the BRI has received wide acceptance from developed and developing countries from across the world. Hundred of leaders from a 110 member countries will gather for a summit in Beijing this month to discuss the details of this great plan. Chinese routes along these countries will account for at least 16 percent of the world’s GDP. But with 36% of world population the Chinese are betting on future growth. From Cairo to Islamabad, development on a horde of refineries, railways, roads, canals, ports, industrial parks and economic zones is underway.

Chinese Premier’s preparation to revive age old route that spans across all corners of Asia is becoming a behemoth project. The project named “Belt and Road Initiative” is becoming larger ever since it was announced in the last two years. Chinese ever since their launch have been trying to as many countries on board a sit possibly can. The number of countries who are either a part of this project or who have signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese has soared to a total of 38 countries; 16 countries from Europe, 8 countries from Asia-Pacific, 5 countries form the Middle East, 4 from Central Asia, 4 from South Asia and 1 form Africa.

A freight train route linking China’s East Coast and London has already started operating. With the help of this new route the freight trains will reach London form Mainland crossing Eurasia while passing through nine countries in just 18 days.

But China has speckled history when it comes to foreign investment for development projects around the world. Venezuela saw a high speed railway project abandoned after defaulting on a payment of principal after mounting economic troubles at home. Myanmar saw development of a dam abandoned after locals protested against damage to environment.

Optimists see these projects as efforts to increase Chinese efforts to develop fledgling economies in member countries for the rising population and growing need for employment. However, skeptics see this initiative as Chinese effort to export its industrial overcapacity and get contracts for its state-owned industries. Some also argue this as Chinese move to pull these countries into her strategic orbit. For Xi, this month’s summit is a great platform to portray himself and China as champions of globalization.

Posted on: 2017-05-11T11:58:00+05:00

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