One Belt One Road

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Sachin Mehta, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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After making nearly 6000 miles trip taking just two weeks, the first Silk Road train arrived in Iran carrying 32 containers of commercial goods from China. This route is the start of the new Silk Road modelled after the ancient trade route which allowed east to connect with the west in BC era. The new pathway is expected to revolutionize the china as well as the other countries along the way.

The new trade routes will be helpful in connecting the China with the European countries and the other regions in the west. The plan to build more roads, railways, ports and transport infrastructure is being called “One belt one road” plan. This comprises of two routes: a land route running from East Asia to Europe and a Marine route stretching to South-East Asia and Africa by Sea. Along the way these routes will pass through as many as sixty countries and regions covering half of the world’s entire GDP.

China being the biggest trading partner of Iran, this initiative will certainly help in strengthening ties between China and Iran thereby leading to economic prosperity. China and Iran have agreed to build economic ties worth $US600 billion within next decade. The strategic location advantage of Iran in the Middle East provides access to the number of land and sea routes which might play a crucial role in development of China’s new Silk Road initiative.

“China’s president Xi Jinping said he hoped its annual trade with the countries involved in Beijing’s plan to create a modern silk road would surpass $2.5 trillion in a decade.”

The revival of ancient trade route is touted to be one of the signature foreign policy initiatives by the Chinese president Xi Jinping, probably the largest undertaking since Marshall Plan post World War II. According to the experts around the world, this strategy will be the answer of china to the US’s Transpacific Partnership (TPP). The new silk road is expected to be the China’s best bet against the new trade agreements like TPP that threaten the China’s presence in the global economy. In any case China owns a huge number of infrastructure projects in a diversity of number of regional countries. That alone puts them in a risky yet, incredibly strong bargaining position with the rest of the world. The project aims at bringing revolutionary changes in the economic map of the world.

While the ancient Silk Road was a political and economic explosion, the new Silk Road promises to change the face of Asia.

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