WorldPost: These Days, All Roads Lead to Beijing

China’s President Xi Jinping has made developing good ties in Central Asia and beyond a foreign policy priority. He anticipates the Silk Road Economic Belt to enhance economic ties, communications and trade across three continents, explains Peter Frankopan for WorldPost in an essay that examines old and recent history. China, positioning itself as a leader, pumps billions into the Silk Road Fund and projects, Frankopan notes. While positive connections are emphasized, he points out that disease, environmental degradation and security threats also move along human-made routes. The historical Silk Road, of course, was not a single route but rather a crisscrossing web, Frankopan writes. Notably, Xi may be pulling back on the descriptor “One Belt, One Road” with its denotations of singularity. Still, as Frankopan suggests, “All roads lead to Beijing.” Some projects will fail or succeed, and the ultimate measure of success, according to Frankopan, is if trade and other exchanges flow back and forth rather than move in a rigid one-way direction. He concludes that success of the modern Silk Road depends on being able to win goodwill through building relationships that are ultimately based not on commercial and economic interests but on mutual respect.” – YaleGlobal

WorldPost: These Days, All Roads Lead to Beijing

Success of the new Silk Roads depends multitude rather than singularity: win-win scenarios and crisscrossing web of exchanges, not one-way flow from China
Peter Frankopan
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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Peter Frankopan, PhD, is a historian at Oxford University, where he is senior research fellow at Worcester College and director of the Oxford Center for Byzantine Research. He works on the history of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia, Central Asia and beyond, and on relations between Christianity and Islam. He also specializes in Medieval Greek literature, and translated The Alexiad for Penguin Classics.

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