China’s trillion dollar plan to dominate global trade

China’s trillion dollar plan to dominate global trade

There’s a new highway in Pakistan. And a new rail terminal in Kazakhstan. A sea port in Sri Lanka recently opened. As well as this bridge in rural Laos. What’s interesting is that they’re all
part of one country’s project that spans 3 continents and touches over 60% of the world’s
population. If you connect the dots, it’s not hard to
see which country that is. This is China’s Belt and Road Initiative — the
most ambitious infrastructure project in modern history that’s designed to reroute global
trade. It’s how China plans to become the world’s
next superpower. It’s 2013 and Chinese president, Xi Jinping is giving a speech in Kazakhstan where he
mentions the Ancient Silk Road: A network of trade routes that spread goods,
ideas, and culture across Europe, the Middle East, and China as far back as 200 BC. He then says: “we should take an innovative approach and
jointly build an economic belt along the Silk Road”
A month later, Xi is in Indonesia: “The two sides should work together to build a maritime silk road for the 21st century” These two phrases were the first mentions
of Xi’s legacy project, the multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI. They’re also the two components of the plan. There’s an overland Economic Belt of 6 corridors
that serves as new routes to get goods in and out of China. Like this railroad connecting China to London. And these gas pipelines from the Caspian sea to
China And a high-speed train network in South East
Asia. Then there’s the maritime silk road — a
chain of seaports stretching from the South China Sea to Africa that also directs trade
to and from China. The BRI also includes oil refineries, industrial
parks, power plants, mines, and fiber-optic networks – all designed to make it easier
for the world to trade with China. So far, over 60 countries have reportedly
signed agreements for these projects. And the list is growing, because China promotes
it as a win-win for everyone. Take, for example, the BRI’s flagship project:
Pakistan. Pause for Pakistan
Like many countries in Central and South Asia, Pakistan has a stagnant economy, and a corruption
problem. It wasn’t a popular place for foreign investment,
that is until China came along. In 2001, China offered to build a brand new
port in the small fishing town of Gwadar. By 2018, the port as well as highway and railway
networks became a $62 billion dollar Corridor within the BRI. It’s where the Economic Belt meets the Maritime
Silk Road. And it seemed to benefit both countries. Pakistan saw its highest GDP growth in 8 years
and forged a tight relationship with a major world power. China, on the other hand, secured a new alternative
route for goods, especially, oil and gas from the Middle East. Through projects like these, it also found
a way to boost its economy. Chinese construction companies that had fewer
opportunities within their own country saw a huge boost from BRI contracts — 7 out
of the 10 biggest construction firms in the world are now Chinese. What tips the balance in China’s favor even
more is a requirement that it be involved in building these projects. In Pakistan for example, Chinese workers have
directly built projects, like this highway here, and a Chinese firm has worked with locals
on a railway here in Serbia. China’s involvement is one of its very few
demands and that’s set these deals apart so far. See, typically, to get investment from the
West, countries have to meet strict ethical standards. But China’s offered billions of dollars
— mostly in loans — with far fewer conditions. So, it’s no surprise the BRI has been a
big hit with the less-democratic countries in the region. China has signed agreements with Authoritarian
governments Military regimes. And some of the most corrupt countries in
the world. It’s even affiliated with, Afghanistan,
Ukraine, Yemen, and Iraq; all currently splintered by conflict. Because of China’s willingness to loan money
to unreliable countries, many experts have called the BRI a risky plan. Eventually, these countries will have to pay
China back — but corruption and conflict make that payback unlikely. A recent report found that many countries
indebted to China are vulnerable, including 8 that are at high risk of being unable to
pay. So why does China keep lending? Because there’s more to the BRI than just
economics: In Sri Lanka, China loaned about 1.5 billion dollars for a new deep-water port. It was a key stop on the Maritime Silk Road. But by 2017 it was clear Sri Lanka couldn’t
pay back the loan, so instead, they gave China control of the port as part of a 99-year lease. China also controls the strategic port in
Pakistan – where it has a 40-year lease, It’s pushing for a similar agreement in Myanmar,
and it just opened an actual Chinese naval base in Djibouti. These are all signs of what’s called the
String of Pearls theory. It predicts that China is trying to establish
a string of naval bases in the Indian Ocean that will allow it to station ships and guard
shipping routes that move through the region. So while China’s not getting its money back,
its still achieving some very important strategic goals. China’s growing influence challenges the
status of the US, which has been the world’s lone super-power for the last several decades. Isolation is trending in the US meaning it’s
investing less and therefore losing influence around the world. The BRI is China’s way of leveraging power
to become a global leader. By building relationships and taking control
of global trade, China is well on its way.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Vox Atlas is a new series looking into the big foreign policy stories shaping the globe, produced by Sam Ellis. Check out the rest of season one of Atlas here – and let us know what stories you want to see:

  2. We are all guilty of buying cheap Chinese goods but the World have to protect its own manufacturers or there will be great poverty.

  3. Wherever the US goes, war and destruction.
    Wherever the Chinese goes, infrastructure.
    Who are the real bad guys?

  4. Co-operation is better than confrontation.
    Make friend is better than make foe.
    Make love is better than make war.

  5. while right wing discriminates and insults it neighbors china is slowly taking over the world and lately started investing outside Venezuela in latin america, sad to see how party personal agenda is destroying the country instead of finding solutions for peace and make the usa and it neighbor strong…

    at a conservative estimate of 5 percent growth for next 20 years, that is what it is gonna take.

  7. People thinking that China is a Philantropist, are somehow naive. They are faking their smiles, so people do business with them. In order to produce, export and import, they need massive infrastructure. They don't build infrastructure for free. That's when the loans come to play. Sri Lanka for instance is having trouble to pay the debts! Debt trap!

    They also don't see, that they are following a path into China's slavery, until it's too late and China is the next superpower.

    For clarification: I don't hate China. I visited China and I was amazed and I like it! But Chinese have never forgotten about the gunboat politics by the former colonial powers.

  8. yeah i don’t think they’ll become the superpower anytime soon, maybe the super power of trade but aren’t they already that

  9. Well, I say good on them. The Chinese people have certainly worked hard to get where the country is today and if their leadership is smart enough to think of this good on them!

  10. The Kid President Has Done Nothing For The Population of America but Has Made The Corporations and Large Share Holders Juggle Around Their Investments and The Only Country's Benefiting Will Be South American Nations That are Experiencing Economic growth while The American Public Suffers The Hardships of His Administrations!
    Government is Collecting More Money for the War Chest!

  11. Lutherangrants org helped me financially for my business funding .I received a grant of $52,000 all thanks to them.

  12. Beware: The Road and Belt Initiative is about world expansion FOR CHINA disguised as a mutual trade route benefiting everyone. Look at Malaysia's "Forest City". The Chinese built 4 islands near SIngapore with lots of high rise buildings but then it also bought up 70% of the available apartments until the Malaysian government stopped it.

  13. now the world will only consist of the Chinese Federation, Holy Empire of Brittania, and U.N. then Zero/Lelouch will own the world.

  14. Even kuwait is contracting with Chinese to build houses bridges and roads clearly not because kuwait lack money its one of the richest in the world it’s because we are tired of corrupted government that is using there on companies to take contracts and use them as a in infinite money source without any progress in the project not mentioning China companies efficiency and quality

  15. i havent play starcarft in a while but i can tell when someone is stacking units……….and china is stacking alright….

  16. China tahu perang senjata sama Amerika Syarikat pasti kalah teruk. Strategi China kini melalui perdagangan seluruh Asia dan Eropah.

  17. China is building a california through burma and pakistan. They're playing for control over the Eurasian landmass and thus control of all global trade, THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!!!!!!!

  18. why are people bragging China and India, China is 5 to 6 times better than India but they are still a highly populated poor country, its is controlled by western world, the western world gives them work to do for cheap labor esp manufacture of goods……

  19. China has no rhythm and no soul and their oppressed people have no identity. Blahhh. I'd rather make America Great Again.

  20. I think China's plan is not to dominate, instead they have bigger plan to unite all neighboring countries

  21. It seems like a good project, at least first part how you described it, the background music made it sound like a horrible doomed plan, I am so confused.

  22. To be honest, China will still be
    no. 1 with or without trade war after no of decades.Not U.S. nor even mention about Taiwan used by western world as a trump card to suppress development of China. Taiwan's GDP used to be 1/2 China now is only 1/20. Will it be back to half of China or 1/5 of China the answer is definitely no. The iconic industry in Taiwan is only semiconductor industry left as no. 1 in the world and a small place without much resources, well infrastructure, system, lifestyle, environment and strong economy and power and energy industry to support it's development so it's population is continuously declining and moving out. The reason why western world support Taiwan is due to the fact of their national interest not values or sincere relationship or any culture or arts and beauty attractions from it. Ask most people in the world if you gonna choose a place to live or travel, would you choose China, Japan, South East Asia, Australia, U.S. and Europe or you gonna choose Taiwan? So sometimes you have to let go, and now it's time to let go Taiwan and it's good for everyone to prevent next war.

  23. Imagine if China spent at least a part of it to reduce co2 emission…. I would like to think that our next superpower doesn't have the world's greatest co2 emission rate.

  24. Trade depends on peace. They intend to destroy the peace, such as it is. So, they will lose twice. Poor Chinese people. I feel so sorry for them. It’s their turn to learn what happens when absolute power corrupts absolutely. The rest of the world is going to hurt too. The world needs no more emperors, monarchs, dictators, and charlatans. But it is something we are very good at producing.

  25. Come on India!!! Speed up your development! The world is going to need you to counter China’s nefarious plans. You guys will be the leaders of the free world as the world’s largest democracy, with the largest economy (possibly).

  26. Is this the root cause of repealing article 370 and 35A in kashmir by Indian government to stop this silk Road project????

  27. Same old story .. what Britisher did in is China doing in present. Later in future there will be fight for the land and culture and end result Sri Lanka will be divided nation. So do whatever you want don't let them to take your land.

  28. The world money lender ! But if win win situation than it is good progress for all. But when one country is too powerfull it is always danger in future

  29. You didn't mention much about Africa – China is hugely involved in countless infrastructure projects here, clearly dominating African trade and politics.

  30. i dont surprise because china is banned addictive things and many social media and they always have huge ambitions to be dominate, always work harder and stay healthy while non chinese are affected by negative impacts of globalizations and bad things in social media

  31. America has borrowed trillions of dollars to finance tax cuts and we must pay trillions in interest payments to finance the debt. Had we paid our bills and instead invested in infrastructure projects like the Belt and Road, we would have secured our economic dominance for years to come. Instead, many countries are going to be more economically tied to China and not to the US.

  32. I don't think that's evil, well, at least, China never launch war after being rich, but white man did or they are doing now.(look at the Middle East)

  33. If Bri is in favor of China only or for dominating the world,why there are 60 coutries now joining it? China is building infrastructure for the other countries…help them improve economy and bring better life to people,vox didn't say a word about it,instead,vox focus on smearing Bri as debt trap,all negative reports

  34. Honestly this is worrying, as really no country can stand against them. The only one would be the US but given the current "leadership" of that country, they will actually most likely help China to reach that goal sooner that expected.

  35. How awesome would be if the West would have China as it's ally, all that talent wasted on political spite of Communism. I hope that one day during this century, the Chinese people will have the perspective of what's it like to be free of deadly 19th century industrial idea called the Communism. Now that would a victory for all of mankind.

  36. America will never be great again. this is a fact. your time is up and it's just a matter of time. Hahahahahahaha

  37. China has not waged wars for any energy, such as oil. Construction and development of any country is of mutual benefit, mutual cooperation, is also a wrong way to do this?

  38. I'm from Serbia and I can confirm that China already invested and built serval important infrastructure from highways, bridges, railways and energy and what they are doing exactly? They give to the country loan with low interest rates and grace periods up to 20-30 years, but only condition is that has to build Chinese company with Chinese workers and when they finish one project they are moving on to the other and so on and so on. They are returning big amounts of money right away because their government ruled companies are making profits.
    More stable country is they give greater period of delayed payment, and if they not return they will take control of the project for long time.
    Why Serbia? They bought ports in Athens and Thessaloniki and if they have stable infrastructure to the Budapest they have win the jackpot.
    As I understood they are building big warehouse close to the Belgrade where highways for Budapest, Zagreb, Sofia and Thessaloniki intersect and railway passing true plus there is two rivers Danube and Sava.

  39. It's a risk, serious risk because there are seriously politically disputed regions in some parts ,,,it's not like Europe calm and smooth ,,political rivalries ,differences will prevail

  40. So that's the difference between a cultural country and western countries. People often think about everything as part of tactic or advance in the western world. Even some family charge rent to their own people. What China has done is to help African countries to grow, because it will bring peace to their land. China was experiencing the same pain long ago, so that's called feedback. Why is Africa so behind? You know the history of colonization right? It could have been the western world who should make up for their own fault to do the same to help them out. But they don't. Why? Because they don't see the 'advantage' for their own. American friend-countries are scared of being in that relationship because they do not have a solid hand to shake with. They say A, but they act B. And it's all based on their benefits instead of the rest of the world. You pollute much more than China, but you restrain China's production, not yours. China's production only earns a small portion of your sale price, and the western companies are the biggest beneficiary of China's production. Yet, their politicians use 'they steal our jobs' to earn votes.

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