Thursday, May 18, 2017
The One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit in Beijing this month has focused the world’s attention on China’s ‘grand strategy’
- OBOR may reshape world politics as much by how countries perceive and react to it as by what it actually does.
- Trade diversion effects may be one of the most significant long-term economic results.
- References to ‘grand strategy’ overlook the organic nature of OBOR, which is continually shaped from below as well as above.
Countries that are not part of OBOR do not separate neatly into winners and losers -- many will be both. For instance, trade-related infrastructure may benefit nations that are not themselves part of OBOR. Not being part of OBOR will not mean a country gets less Chinese investment.
The majority of Chinese investment is likely to be in sectors and countries that are not part of OBOR, nor will overall Chinese investment be concentrated in the OBOR countries. However, the boundaries of OBOR are ill-defined and flexible, and will expand to encompass planned or current projects that were not originally part of it.
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