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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 5: Financing infrastructure projects

Silk Roads and Bullet Trains

Gerald Chan

Extract

Chapter 5 asks some of the most fundamental questions about China’s ‘one belt, one road’ initiative: Where is the money coming from? How does China finance the various infrastructure projects that it has initiated under the plan since 2014? What are the impacts of such infrastructure developments on the global financial system? Is a new international financial order in the making? This chapter argues that the scale of change in global developmental financing as a result of the implementation of the plan does point to the making of a relatively new global financial architecture. The main reason is that China has reached a consensus with international financial institutions and other countries that there is a dire need for infrastructure developments in many parts of the world, so as to sustain healthy economic growth. China is able to show to other stakeholders that it has the financial and human resources as well as the political will to do so.

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