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China Paves the Way for a New Silk Road

May 15, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
Chinese regional infrastructure projects
Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, a modern revival of the Silk Road, showcases China's global ambitions, driving diplomatic, financial and commercial cooperation with neighboring countries.
(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Belt and Road Initiative, a modern revival of the Silk Road, has become the centerpiece of Chinese policy since its inception, driving diplomatic, financial and commercial cooperation between China and its neighboring countries. Leaders from 29 countries across Asia and Eastern Europe, along with representatives from 130 nations worldwide, flocked to the summit Xi hosted May 14-15 to commemorate four years of progress on the program. The Belt and Road Initiative, as well as Xi's summit, is a chance for Beijing to showcase its global ambitions in an era of renewed protectionism, faltering regional economic integration and geopolitical change. China's aspirations to establish itself at the center of a new global order by increasing its involvement abroad often dominate the discourse over the Belt and Road Initiative, earning it comparisons to the Marshall Plan. Nevertheless, like the Silk Road before it, the Belt and Road Initiative is as much...

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