China’s New Silk Road programme, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign strategy. In a short span since its enunciation, the programme has taken off spectacularly and guided China’s domestic and international transitions. Through various ways of interest-binding, BRI has evolved into a Chinese way of reordering Asia and the international status quo. As business opportunities beckon, countries compete to win Beijing’s favour. Starting with a consolidated centre through integrating China’s economy and the development of neighboring countries, Beijing has drawn in the many countries into its orbit. As such, out of the BRI a China-centric hierarchy is emerging to cultivate centripetal loyalty towards Beijing and deference to its core interests. The programme has also shed light on what a potential Chinese world order would be. Historically, order-building has always followed a great-power war. Can China’s BRI succeed as an alternative mechanism for power transition? The speaker offers his perspective on the Chinese style of geo-economics in the global era.
About the Speaker:
Dr Deng Yong is Professor of Political Science at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. His recent visiting appointments include a fellowship at Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway. He is the author and co-editor of four books on Asian international relations and Chinese foreign policy, including China’s Struggle for Status: The Realignment of International Relations (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008). He is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.