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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 6: Assessing Asian responses to ‘one belt, one road’

Silk Roads and Bullet Trains

Gerald Chan

Extract

Chapter 6 asks how do other countries see China’s ‘one belt, one road’ initiative, especially those in Asia, including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan? Different countries apparently have different responses, ranging from highly supportive to highly negative with many variations in between. In terms of significance to the success or otherwise of the initiative, the attitudes and behaviour of three countries stand out: the US, Russia and India. The Sino-US relationship is arguably the most important bilateral relationship in the world, as the US is the sole superpower and China is a fast-rising global power. Russia and India are important because of their strategic positions along the paths of the ‘belt and road’ connecting China with Europe: Russia occupies a pivotal position in China’s New Silk Road on land via Central Asia, while India occupies a similarly important position in relation to China’s new maritime Silk Road along the Indian Ocean.

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