On Chinese Silk Road

By : Dr. AbdelHak Azzouzi

President and Founder of Moroccan Strategic and International Studies

For nearly six years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been establishing new silk roads. The first Silk Road adventure began with Marco Polo about 1,000 years ago. By time, this huge massive investment in infrastructure has become the country’s major policy. The joining of Italy in recent days is an important step in the realization of this huge Chinese project.

Rome, the third biggest European economy, became the first member of the G7 – which includes the major Western economic powers – to support the Beijing initiative. No doubt that with the Italian decision, Xi Jinping widened his “roads” of silk. Worth noting that the Chinese president could persuade 72 countries with the modern version of this economic and commercial corridor. The Chinese government is changing the global economic map from global governance to trade rules, with a respect to the environment and investment. It does so through investing heavily around the world, especially within the context of its “New Silk Road” project.

The ambitious Chinese project consists of a land section, includes the establishment and financing of railways between China and Europe, and a maritime section, involving investments in dozens of ports around the world to facilitate Chinese trade.

No doubt that the Chinese plans trigger concern at the European and international arenas, which have begun to view China’s economic presence as a reality. “Europe is in desperate need of a strategy for China,” said European Commissioner Günter Oettinger.

He said that Europe is following “with concern” the establishing of strategic infrastructure such as power grids, high-speed rail lines or harbors, which are no longer made by Europeans.

The French president has called upon Europeans to wake up and defend their sovereignty against Beijing, which the European Commission called “a rival at all levels.”

In addition, the German Foreign Minister Haiku Mas stated to “Welt am Sonntag” newspaper on Sunday that in a world of giants like China and Russia or a partners like the United States, “we cannot continue if we are not united as a European union.”

The point is that China could perceive what globalization is about and intelligently coped with it.

The State does not seek to export its historical model, as western countries such as the United States and France do, claiming that only adopting their model could lead eventually to success. On the contrary, China is abandoning intervention in domestic affairs of other countries as long as its lands and sovereign interests are not touched. It does never trigger problems but insisting a concept that a successful economic model does not mean the failure of another, and that relations should be based upon the win-win concept.

We have heard that Japan is striving to save the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ through pushing for negotiating a new agreement without the US, whose president has announced the country withdrawal shortly after his inauguration.

The remaining members of the partnership are Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, and the biggest loser, both  on the medium and long term, will be the United States.

The world is no more governed by the will of the big powers. And the western paradigm with its political, economic, social and cultural aspects is no longer attractive and exportable. For instance, China and India alone need thousands of research pages just to understand their economic, political, social and cultural systems. Both countries continue to influence the world system without militarily or intelligence or institutional intervention as America, for instance, does. But they certainly impact through their industrial strength and their efficient people as well as the factors of the permanent growth. This is done without the need to insult the different that it is inferior. On the contrary, they get to persuade international actors with a  profitable cooperation, and this is the real secret of the success of those who are able to properly perceive our world today.


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