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China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), sometimes referred to as the New Silk Road, is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever conceived. Launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, the vast collection of development and investment initiatives would stretch from East Asia to Europe, significantly expanding China’s economic and political influence.
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HISTORY OF OLD SILK ROAD
The History of old Silk road arose during the Westward expansion of China’s Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), which forged trade networks throughout what are today the Central Asian countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as modern-day Pakistan and India to the South. These routes extended more than four thousands miles to Europe.
Central Asia was thus the epicenter of one of the first wave of globalization. This connecting eastern and western markets, spurring immense wealth, and intermixing cultural and religious traditions. Valuable Chinese silk, spices, jade, and other goods moved west while China received gold and other precious metals, ivory and glass products. This route was on peaked during the first millennium, under the leadership of first Roman and then Byzantine Empires, and the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) in China.
Central Asia was thus the epicenter of one of the first waves of globalization, connecting eastern and western markets, spurring immense wealth, and intermixing cultural and religious traditions. Valuable Chinese silk, spices, jade, and other goods moved west while China received gold and other precious metals, ivory, and glass products. Use of the route peaked during the first millennium, under the leadership of first the Roman and then Byzantine Empires, and the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) in China. But the crusades, as well as advances by the Mongols in Central Asia, dampened trade, and today Central Asian Countries are economically isolated from each other.
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WHAT IS ONE BELT ONE ROAD?
Chinese President Xi announced the initiative during official visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2013. The plan was two-pronged: the overland Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road. The two were collectively referred to first as the one Belt One road initiative but eventually became the Belt and Road initiative.
Chinese President Xi announced to create a vast network of railways, energy, highways, and streamlined border crossing, both westward through the mountainous former Soviet republics and southward, to Pakistan, India, and the rest of Southeast Asia. Such a network would expand the international use of Chinese currency, the renminbi, and break the bottleneck in Asian connectivity. The Asian Development Bank estimated that the region faces a yearly infrastructure, China plans to build fifty special economic zones. Modeled after the Shenzhen special Economic Zone, which China launched in 1980 during its economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping.
Chinese President Xi subsequently announced plans for the Maritime Silk Road at the 2013 summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Indonesia. To expand maritime trade traffic, China would invest in port development along the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia all the way to East Africa and parts of Europe.
More than seventy countries and two third population joined OBOR. The largest investment so far to the estimated more than 60 Billion China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC), a collection of projects connecting China to Pakistan’s Gawadar Port on the Arabian Sea. In total China has already spent an estimated more than $200 billion on such projects. It is being estimated that China OBOR overall expenses can reach $1.2-$1.3 trillion by 2027
ALTERNATE OF OBOR B3W
Build Back Better world (B3W) is an affirmative initiative for meeting the tremendous infrastructure needs of middle income or developing countries. President of United states of America Joe Biden and G7 (consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) partners agreed to a launch the bold new global infrastructure initiative Build back Better World (B3W). This includes a value-drive, high standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership led by major democracies to help narrow the $40+ trillion infrastructure need in the developing world, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.