By KRISTIAM HERRERA-CARRASCO, THE NEW YORK TIMES
The New Silk Road has the potential to lift the global economy by essentially helping to support the poorer nations that have become involved in the whole scenario. For the West, it also may bring more business overseas without the burden that outsourcing brought as it garnered criticism.
The problem with this giant initiative – and it is quite grandiose in its scheme – is that, most have already realized it for what it likely is: a ploy for the Chinese government to uplift its own economy rather than a means by which it could reach out to other nations across the globe. Such a realization then makes the New Silk Road appear to be a ruse, intending to connect the world, while at its heart, truly hoping to expand the Chinese economy.
With that said, what the SOC must ensure is that this is not the ultimate outcome of the entire operation. Should this become the obvious objective, then China risks having its project being ignored by potential future investments. If China says it wishes to link some of the world’s largest traders, then this should be the goal in the long run. As of right now, however, the linked countries of Central Asia do not hold enough for any serious investments that would benefit China itself. Perhaps the nation truly does wish to pave the way for the old Silk Road to be reintroduced into the 21st century. If so, eventual expansion would seem to be the inevitable future – a future that sees the OBOR linking the majority of independent nations wishing to trade along it.