Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order
The nuts and bolts of China's mammoth infrastructure project that straddles many continents...
The western political and economic model has dominated the world since the early 1800s. The domain went through many ups and downs, like the world wars and the Holocaust and end of the colonial system, but endured. The arrival of a new domain, known as the 'Belt and Road Initiative', is thus of great historic significance. First of all such a daring initiative is possible only when the core is confident of providing an epoch-shaping leadership for the process. However, a domain study cannot be conducted unless undertaken from a broader point of view. Bruno Maçães has perhaps carried out one of the best analysis of the initiative in Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order.
It explains that BRI is not just a name and a way to assert China's overwhelming economic and political might. It argues, through a lucid presentation of all segments of the project, that it is in fact a future map of the world or a map that the Chinese leadership wants the world to adopt. Maçães is careful in not presenting the project as a sign of the newly assertive China and reminds readers that both Mao and Deng had similar visions of a new world order and a network of production chains that are based on the Confucian virtues of 'sincerity, honesty and amity'. He points out that the Chinese world view, which rejects the western version of power politics that grows from Greek and Roman political thought, is fundamentally different.
The best part of the book is its detailed presentation of the nuts and bolts and the ideas behind this landmark Chinese project. Though China's territorial disputes with several key neighbours like India and the dispute in the South China Sea are being closely observed, the author makes it amply clear that the philosophical foundation of BRI is peaceful. However, he also hints at the complexity ahead as China's 'Tianxia' will finally dismantle the western model by taking away the building blocks of Western enlightenment.
The presentation of BRI covering its footprints from the shores of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and African continent was attempted before but this is the first objective study by a writer from the West. The book stands out as it presents the Chinese plan and its pitfalls without succumbing to an alarmist viewpoint.
Courtesy: THE HINDU