søndag 14. februar 2021

How Chinese infrastructure is reshaping the planet

Chinese President Xi Jinping has staked his legacy on the One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR), a sweeping plan to rebuild the ancient Silk Road through billions of dollars of investment in modern infrastructure across the planet built in China's name. These sweeping construction projects include a mega-port in Sri Lanka, an oil refinery at the mouth of the Panama Canal, a cloud computing center in Malaysia, and a uranium mine in Greenland. But few Western observers have realized that Xi's legacy project is about something much bigger than construction projects.

One Belt One Road (OBOR) is about using economic means for political ends. Its aim: restore the lost glory of the Chinese empire, which dominated East and Central Asia for nearly two thousand years until its humiliating defeat in the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century. Its strategy: get foreigners from far and wide to pay tribute to China's greatness in exchange for Chinese money and technology, as they supposedly did for centuries under the imperial tributary system. Its primary beneficiary: Xi himself, who is securing his place alongside the most revered emperors in Chinese history.