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Understanding China’s New Diplomacy

Silk Roads and Bullet Trains

Gerald Chan

What is China’s high-speed rail diplomacy? What is China’s infrastructure diplomacy? How do they relate to each other and to the country’s Belt and Road Initiative? Can China finance the numerous projects around the world under the initiative? This book assesses the important implications of China’s new diplomacy for the global political economy. It argues that a new developmental path called ‘geo-developmentalism’ is in the making: China plays a leading role in promoting growth and building connections across Eurasia and beyond.
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Figures and tables

Silk Roads and Bullet Trains

Gerald Chan


5.1  A model of China’s multilateral financial involvement

7.1  The intellectual lineage of geo-neo-functionalism


3.1  China’s share of the global high-speed rail market, 2014–30 (estimates)

3.2  High-speed rail agreements between China and Southeast Asia and Latin America, 2013–17

3.3  The five largest China-built railways in Africa, 2016

3.4  China’s high-speed rail exports, September 2016

5.1  Global infrastructure investments by China, the EU and the US, 1992–2011

5.2  China-led international financial institutions, 2017

5.3  The GDPs of the BRICS countries, 2014

5.4  AIIB-approved loan projects, 2016 (first year of operation) to 2017

5.5  Comparing the AIIB, the ADB and the World Bank, 2016

6.1  Balancing powers, balancing interests, or a healthy dose of competition between China and Japan?

6.2  A summary of Asian responses to OBOR, mid-2017

7.1  Comparing functionalism, neo-functionalism and geo-neo-functionalism

7.2  Comparing neoliberalism and geo-developmentalism

8.1  The changing shape of global power

8.2  The risk assessment of OBOR countries

8.3  Going global: contrasting Europe and China