Wither China’s One Belt One Road Project (OBOR)?

by Patrick Liew on May 18, 2017

While the OBOR makes economic sense, the devil is in the details.

By far, the Chinese government has not been the most transparent about its plan, structure, system and process. Or, does it have any details at this point?

Many of the developed countries are not aware of or are doubtful about the motives, means and ends of the massive and protracted OBOR.

For example, there’s no information about how the humongous infrastructure will be financed, carried out, and managed.

For the OBOR to work, there must be open borders and willingness to trade.

As a proponent of global trade, is China prepared to open its market to the other nations?

Will China abide by internationally-accepted standards for governance, quality and environmental protection?

While the OBOR is initiated and supported by President Xi Jinping, China is not known for leading and driving international projects.

What’s more, for the OBOR to succeed, it requires strong political will, healthy international relations and cooperations, huge financial resources, and extensive and in depth technical knowledge and skills.

Is China able to galvanize these resources and channel them effectively and efficiently, while keeping corruption in check?

In 2016, China did not accept the judgment that went against its control over disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The judgement was passed by an international tribunal in The Hague.

In addition, China continued to bulldoze its way in the South China Sea.

Can China be relied upon to calibrate delicate balance in international relations and protect different country’s interests?

The motives behind the implementation of OBOR is a major concern.

Is China capitalizing on Trump’s nativist nationalism to exert its influence on the new world?

Or is it just a front to gain strategic and political dominance and control?

Can China be relied upon to work with other nations to co-create solutions for the new era?

Even if China have no negative intentions, the OBOR will have both intended and unintended geopolitical consequences.

Case in point, the OBOR has caused concerns to the Indian government and potentially disheveled the political equilibrium between India and Pakistan.

The OBOR is at an early stage and more information is needed to determine its outcomes, including the good, bad and ugly.



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