International Workshop on China’s “One Belt One Road” Global Strategy: Prospects and Constraints

International workshop on

China’s “One Belt, One Road” Global Strategy:

Implications, Prospects and Constraints
 

Aalborg University, January 19-20, 2017

 

Within the last four decades, China has evolved from a poor agricultural country to a global manufacturing powerhouse. The “Chinese model” of investing in infrastructure and production at home while promoting exports to developed markets, has transformed China into the world’s second-largest economy after the US. However, the “Chinese model” has faced a number of challenges in recent years. Beijing is currently caught in a vicious cycle of slow economic growth, excessive debt, overcapacity, and lack of new sources of growth. Beijing’s answer appears to be taking the “Chinese model” to a global level by introducing the “One Belt, One Road” (hereafter OBOR) strategy. This grand strategy covers about 65 percent of the world’s population and one-third of the world’s GDP. The strategy aims to lead China into a transition from export-oriented growth towards a new economic model based on consumption and outward investment.

The objective of this workshop is to understand how and why the very ambitious OBOR strategy will affect China, its neighbors, and the world at large. Many crucial issues need to be explored, including but not limited to:  

  • How does the OBOR strategy influence the world’s geo-political and geo-economic balance?

  • What new opportunities and challenges this strategy can bring to countries and regions along the OBOR economic corridor?

  • Why some actors are active while others are cautious in participating in the initiative?

  • What will be the possible effect of this strategy on conflicts and tensions along the “Belt” and the “Road”, such as the Middle East turmoil and the South China Sea crisis?

  • How to deal with the “power rivalry” dilemma in which the OBOR strategy seems to be in competition with similar US endeavors, such as the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade agreements.

  • What is the domestic political implication in the nexus between the OBOR strategy and China’s “new normal” economy and the new 5-year plan?

  • How will the OBOR strategy affect China’s soft power influence along the OBOR corridor

The organizers welcome papers and presentations dealing with OBOR-related topics from a variety of perspectives e.g. politics, economics, culture, the environment, resources, security, governance, and norms and values.