News / Economy

China Establishing New Silk Roads

FILE - Ethnic Uighurs and camels ride together in the back of a truck along the Karakoram Highway from Kashgar towards Karakul lake in Chinas Xinjiang autonomous region, May 22. 2006.
FILE - Ethnic Uighurs and camels ride together in the back of a truck along the Karakoram Highway from Kashgar towards Karakul lake in Chinas Xinjiang autonomous region, May 22. 2006.
Shannon Van Sant

China is increasingly asserting its influence economically and militarily throughout Asia. But its impact can also be felt further afield, through foreign aid and investment, particularly in Africa.
 
Chinese officials in recent months have been promoting the establishment of two new so-called Silk Roads - one a land-based road and another a maritime trade route that authorities hope will further unite China economically with other parts of the world.  
 
Earlier this summer China hosted a Silk Road Economic Belt Media Cooperation forum in Beijing, which state media said was intended to “rejuvenate the Silk Road by encouraging interregional development.”  

Trade routes

The original silk road was a series of ancient trade routes that linked the major economies of Asia to trading partners in Europe and the Mediterranean.
 
"We have seen repetition or an insistence on the concept of a maritime Silk Road and a Silk Road economic belt that may announce a development of a specific strategy or an emphasis on constructing a new axis that may guide regional policy," said Alice Ekman, a Research Fellow for China at the French Institute of International Relations.
 
She says the strategy is not a new one, but China has raised establishing Silk Road economic belts to a new level of priority.  
 
"So why do I think this topic is relevant, it is because the region itself is presented officially as a priority, even more than [under China’s former leader] Hu Jintao," Ekman said.
 
China is rebranding the ancient trade routes to boost trade ties and infrastructure throughout the region. As envisioned by Chinese officials the new land-based Silk Road would go through Central Asia to northern Iran and through Iraq, Syria and Turkey, ending in Europe.  

Rebranding the infrastructure

The maritime Silk Road would go through the Malacca Strait to India, Kenya and then north around the Horn of Africa, through the Mediterranean before meeting the land-based Silk Road in Venice.  
 
China’s ancient leaders took extensive steps to protect their trade routes and ensure commerce ran smoothly, and observers say the new routes are no different.
 
Ekman says China is increasingly asserting itself along the trade routes through hard moves, such as territorial disputes in the South China Seas, and soft moves, such as increased aid to countries in Africa.  
 
"So I think what we've seen is a lot of governments gradually saying, the things you've done have been really helpful," she said. "Setting up the agricultural training centers, bringing out the doctors, building the government buildings, etc. but we are now likely to be doing things that have a more direct impact on poverty reduction at a grass roots.  And now the question for our Chinese counterparts is not whether to do that, it's how."

Energy security

China is also forming free trade agreements and promoting greater use of its currency in some countries along these trade routes. The increase in ties between China and these countries will not only boost trade, but also will increase China’s energy security.  
 
Some analysts caution that China’s rebranding of these international trade routes does not signal a coherent national strategy.

"There is hardly anywhere, where there isn't an impact, from the smallest islands to the largest developing countries, such as India," said Barry Sautman, an associate professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. "Whether there is a strategy on the part of China is a very different question.  It seems to me there are strategies as opposed to a strategy.  In China there are a lot of people proposing strategies, and there is no one strategy adopted by the central government of China."
 
Sautman says some of these policies are based on contradictory ideas being put forward by officials, business people and academics in China on how best to engage with the rest of the world.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: william li from: canada
July 09, 2014 9:54 AM
no one can stop Chinas growing!

I am so proud of being Chinese!

In Response

by: Donc from: New York
July 09, 2014 11:50 PM
I'm also a Chinese from Singapore. I'm also proud of being CHINESE.


by: Shooi Dan Tom from: US
July 08, 2014 10:26 PM
China haters, take it easy. We Chinese just to work and trade.
The 15 million illegal aliens in the US just want to work. We are
doing the same thing. You don t want 15 million of us to join
the Mexican army when it takes over the US.

In Response

by: william li from: canada
July 09, 2014 3:26 PM
@silly, majority chinese support our government, if you attack our government, you are attacking us. so you better stop china bashing, or we will sh ut you up!

In Response

by: william li from: canada
July 09, 2014 3:23 PM
@james, your weapones are so advanced, right? then why you retreat in front of a bunch of farmers with sandals and AKs? lol
do you mean your soldiers are too stupid?
and there are always news ways to start a war, some wars are without smokes. US has been invaded by Mexicans for centuries, soon you will loss the war, lol

In Response

by: James from: NW
July 09, 2014 11:49 AM
"just to work & trade" - it is more like stealing and copying from anyone that China can reach. Nowadays, using population as a military threat is just dumb. A simple NBC weapon can easily wipe out your 15M or 100M. army try to invade the US.
We do not hate anyone except for cheaters and thieves.

In Response

by: Silly Billy from: SoCal
July 09, 2014 9:58 AM
We aren't Chinese people haters, we're Chinese government's policies haters. Two very different things my yellow brother.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8845
JPY
USD
117.71
GBP
USD
0.6643
CAD
USD
1.2669
INR
USD
62.019

Rates may not be current.