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Summit moves China's OBOR towards internationalisation

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Subject

The future of China's One Belt One Road initiative.

Significance

China convened the first summit of the Belt and Road Initiative (previously known as 'One Belt One Road', OBOR) on May 14-15. With this major diplomatic event, President Xi Jinping aimed to showcase and buttress international support for his central foreign policy initiative, the success of which will hinge on the participation of other countries, regional organisations and international financial institutions. Their contribution, or lack thereof, will affect the nature of OBOR and determine the impact of the Chinese initiative on Asia’s infrastructure connectivity and economic system, as well as on the international order.

Impacts

  • Cooperation between China and multilateral development banks may increase the number of OBOR projects with competitive procurement.
  • Plans for OBOR’s corridors may be altered to accommodate competing visions for Asia’s connectivity, such as Russia’s.
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank may more formally align its mandate with OBOR’s.
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