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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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Chapter 3: China’s high-speed rail diplomacy

Silk Roads and Bullet Trains

Gerald Chan

Extract

Chapter 3 asks what is China’s high-speed railway diplomacy? It points out that China’s high-speed rail is a major infrastructure connection, among many others being proposed or constructed under the ‘one belt, one road’ initiative. China now has the longest high-speed rail network in the world, and it has started to actively export its high-speed rail products and technologies. Yet there is little or no in-depth academic study of this phenomenon and its global impacts. This chapter fills this void. It shows that China’s global high-speed rail development is part and parcel of the country’s infrastructure diplomacy, which in turn is a core component of its ‘one belt, one road’ initiative. The chapter argues that the potential impacts of such a worldwide enterprise on global development would be huge, in terms of international political economy, geopolitics, power shifts and social relations.

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