The government of China launched the ‘One-Belt-One-Road’ (OBOR) policy in 2013. The strategy aims at building a ‘Silk Road Economic Belt and a Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century. The first project is to connect China Europe through Central and Western Asia and the later is to connect China with South-east Asian and African countries.
The aim of the OBOR strategy is to promote economic prosperity of the countries along the belt and road and regional economic cooperation, to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between different civilisations, and to promote world peace and development. OBOR not only represents an engineered, focused and coordinated strategy of China’s political and economic influence overseas, but it is also a strategy to instigate domestic investment drive which will benefit all Chinese states. With the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) as the main financing hub, the OBOR project hopes to effectively lead China’s surplus capital and industrial overcapacity into the infrastructure and industrial investments in countries along the OBOR routes.
China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative clearly reads as an audacious vision for transforming the political and economic landscapes of Eurasia and Africa over the coming decades via a network of infrastructure partnerships across the energy, telecommunications, logistics, law, IT, and transportation sectors. As a country’s infrastructure plays a vital role in attracting and facilitating business operations, it is critical to further develop the infrastructure and promote collaborations of the economies along the two new Silk Roads.
Commentators pointed out five major goals of the initiative with the framework of OBOR: connectivity through infrastructure development, policy coordination with greater cooperation, facilitating trade, developing financial integration, and promoting harmony among the people.
The initiative, as of now, aims to encompass more than half the world population (about 4.4 billion) with a collective GDP of $21 trillion (one-third of the world’s wealth) and build the association between economies with strong growth potential. China is currently building strong economic and political connections with the countries along this route, thanks to existing trade and economic cooperation, and it hopes to strengthen transport infrastructure and create new regional hubs and clusters of massive industrial parks. The infrastructure network envisioned by China will eventually link that countries of three continents with railroads, pipelines, roadways, and also reviving shipping routes. If this vision of OBOR can be realised, Beijing will become the centre and destination of global trade and economic growth.