In an article published in Forbes magazine March 19, author Wade Shepard offers an excellent, detailed description of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative, underscoring that the global development proposal put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013 is truly the new name for peace. Shepard has authored several good articles on this subject, written as he travels through the countries that form part of the New Silk Road.
Under the headline, “Coopetition on the New Silk Road: A Recipe for Peace?” Shepard points to the “emerging network of economic corridors, enhanced transportation routes, logistics zones, ports and manufacturing centers which stretch from China to Europe as part of the New Silk Road.”
Speaking with Shepard about Xi Jinping’s “win-win” concept, Taleh Ziyadov, head of Azerbaijan’s new port of Baku, explains: “This hub concept is going to integrate [more] closely most of these countries, and we are going to want the others to succeed as well. Because if I have good roads, good rail, good ports, and if Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan or Georgia doesn’t have the same quality of roads, railways or ports, then I’m in trouble.”
Shepard quotes Huang Jin of the National University of Singapore, who explained a key dimension to Xi Jinping’s 2014 use of the term `community of the Same Destiny.’ This, he said, is “a new concept of collective security based on joint economic development. This is all that One Belt One Road is about. If there is a political dimension, that dimension is to try to find a new way to avoid confrontation, try to find a new way to avoid division in the international community that we all learned in the Cold War years.”
The New Silk Road, Shepard says, “is a network of mutually supporting endeavors where the success or failure of any one project is dependent on the success or failure of many others.” He quotes Karl Gheysen, first CEO of the Khorgos Gateway dry port on Kazakhstan’s border with China: “From the overall holistic point of view, this is the creation of something new in logistics. This is a new concept, an entire new market. Volumes will be more than sufficient to support all the stakeholders, and instead of competition, this will create even stronger ties, since all projects will become interconnected; and that is what the New Silk Road is all about: interconnectivity.”
Shepard details many of the rail corridors, ports, roads, and other infrastructure projects connecting the countries along the Road, which stand to benefit mutually from them (instead of competing with each other). Once, he notes, it was unheard of, for one country to invest billions of dollars to build infrastructure in another country, but today this is standard operating procedure.
“These big infrastructure deals are now seen as international ties of `friendship,’ binding countries together for the long haul, and serve as a platform for increased political cooperation and trade.”