What are ambitions of China behind the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and where its flagship project CPEC stands in this regard?
China is the world’s second largest economy that has been predicted, by number of scholars, will replace the USA as the world’s first. China is on its way to the said goal but pacifically. China is using the economy and trade to uplift its position as the world’s hegemon. Amid this scenario, China’s ‘One Belt and One Road’ (OBOR) initiative has been seen of massive importance. The flagship project of OBOR is China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
What is OBOR & CPEC?
OBOR is a multinational initiative of China which aims at connecting the several world nations in Asia, Europe and Africa via trading routes. CPEC is a part of OBOR. It is the flagship project of OBOR that uses trade routes of Pakistan to supply Chinese goods in Asian and African markets.
Ambitions of China behind OBOR & CPEC:
China maintains and pursues following ambitions behind OBOR & CPEC:
US is the current economic master of the world. Marinating a hold on the world markets, it decides the global trade policies, economic sanctions and worldwide aid programs through IMF and World Bank. Unless, China beats US as economic hegemon, it can’t take control of the political world. Thus, the primary vision behind OBOR is surely to establish economic dominance of China by allowing every road and route to carry its products across the world.
Greater and Commanding Role in Regional Affairs
US has maintained vital control over the regions of South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East since after the 9/11. US physical presence in Afghanistan has proved a major help in maintaining this control. On the other hand, China finds all these regions mentioned as its essential and undeniable future partners. Without these regions, China cannot replace US hegemony. So, through OBOR China is targeting the regional countries with aid, loans and investment packages like CPEC in Pakistan. This gradual development will bring the regional countries in debt traps of China thus, making its diplomatic role enhanced and powerful.
Political Hegemony over the World
After the collapse of Soviet Union in 1990s, US emerged as the sole superpower and took control of the entire political scenario. Now, with China as emerging power, it will sooner or later replace the US. For that, OBOR is quite helpful. Through OBOR, China is allying nations not only in Asia but also Africa, Europe and South America. With power of the allies, China will move for becoming the world’s dominant political power.
With OBOR, China is making geopolitical realignment. China is bringing the regional powers like Russia into its fold. Further, countries which were previously under US influence are gradually joining Chinese ambitions. Pakistan is surely one amongst them. India too is maintains a considerable level of inclination towards Chinese OBOR despite being strategic partner of the US. Further, China is enhancing its relations with US friends like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other regional economies.
China is aiming to become the world’s superpower. It is using economic opportunities to make that happen. It is hardly relying on military tactics. In economic terms, OBOR & CPEC are one of the most important initiatives of China to meet its goals.