«One Belt — One Road» — this is the name given to China’s large-scale project to create a unified transport system that will unite all the key states of Eurasia, and in the future — the whole planet.
It is assumed that the New Silk Road will simplify trade and become a powerful support for the economic development of all countries participating in the project.
The Great Silk Road is a caravan road,
Moreover, most of the innovations (gunpowder, paper, silk fabrics) came from China to Europe, and not vice versa. Historically, the Celestial Empire has always been an economic and scientific center and only in the 19th century gave way to European countries.
China grew rich due to the export of unique goods, Europe got acquainted with the achievements of Asia, and the countries and cities of the route flourished due to customs duties. In the 15th century, due to the growth of maritime trade and constant wars in Central Asia, the Silk Road fell into decay.
Today, almost 5 centuries later, China plans to recreate and expand the lost routes. Although it is still cheaper to carry cargo by sea than by land, high-speed railways will be able to fix this and connect all of Eurasia by land transport.
So, if you carry goods from China to Germany by trains through the Trans-Siberian Railway and the second Eurasian Continental Bridge, then this
However, the «New Silk Road», in addition to rail links, provides for the creation of new highways, pipelines, power lines and all related infrastructure.
On this path, new factories and cities will appear, people will get jobs, businesses will develop, new technologies will begin to develop by leaps and bounds. More than 4 billion inhabitants of the planet will be drawn into the orbit of the Chinese project.
The idea of the «New Silk Road» was for the first time
The project will help Kazakhstan develop economically weak eastern regions. Russia hopes to develop Siberia as an alternative to the West. Central Asian states seek to solve internal political problems with the help of China. The Celestial Empire, in turn, promises to invest generously in the project and resolve conflict situations.
Western countries, the final point of the route, are cool to the «New Silk Road». Foreign experts call the idea a new «Marshall Plan» — a US project implemented after the Second World War.
Then the Americans invested trillions of dollars in the European economy, restored it and, along the way, included the continent in their sphere of economic influence. The United States received levers of political pressure on the project participants. For example, the Americans demanded to exclude the communist parties from the European governments.
The New Silk Road will do the same. It will allow China to conquer new markets, raise the status of its national currency, and lobby its interests with local governments.
China will become a hegemon, and in a peaceful way. However, it is unlikely that the United States will simply watch this. America is opposing the creation of the New Silk Road in the same way as it is opposing the launch of the Russian Nord Stream 2.
Russia could benefit from such an ambitious project: cities along the route will receive incentives to prosper. However, the growing influence of China can negatively affect the economy: instead of developing high-precision manufacturing, we can slip into the sale of raw materials and become dependent on our eastern neighbor.