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YourGeopolitical Quiz for the Day:


Two countries are embroiled ina ferocious rivalry. One country’s meteoric growth has put it on a path tobecome the world’s biggest economic superpower while the other country appearsto be slipping into irreversible decline. Which country will lead the worldinto the future?


Country A buildsfactories and plants, it employees zillions of people who manufacture things,it launches massive infrastructure programs, paves millions of miles ofhighways and roads, opens new sea lanes, vastly expands its high-speed railnetwork, and pumps profits back into productive operations that turbo-chargeits economy and bolster its stature among the nations of the world.


Overthe weekend, more than 5,000 delegates from across the world met in Beijing forThe Second Belt and Road Forum For International Cooperation. The conferenceprovided an opportunity for public and private investors to learn more about XiJinping’s “signature infrastructure project” that is reshaping trade relationsacross Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.


According to journalist PepeEscobar, “The BRI is now supported by no less than 126 states and territories,plus a host of international organizations” and will involve “six majorconnectivity corridors spanning Eurasia.” The massive development project is“one of the largest infrastructure and investment projects in history,….including 65% of the world’s population and 40% of the global gross domesticproduct as of 2017.” (Wikipedia) The improvements to road, rail and sea routeswill vastly increase connectivity, lower shipping costs, boost productivity,and enhance widespread prosperity. The BRI is China’s attempt to replace thecrumbling post-WW2 “liberal” order with a system that respects the rights ofsovereign nations, rejects unilateralism, and relies on market-based principlesto effect a more equitable distribution of wealth. The Belt and Road Initiativeis China’s blueprint for a New World Order. It is the face of 21st centurycapitalism.



The prestigious event inBeijing was barely covered by the western media which sees the project as alooming threat to US plans to pivot to Asia and become the dominant player inthe most prosperous and populous region in the world. Growing international supportfor the Chinese roadmap suggests that Washington’s hegemonic ambitions areliely to be short-circuited by an aggressive development agenda that eclipsesanything the US is currently doing or plans to do in the foreseeable future.


It comes at no surprise that USpowerbrokers see Putin’s plan as a significant threat to their regionalambitions, in fact, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted as muchin 2012 when she said, “It’s going to be called a customs union, it will becalled the Eurasian Union and all of that, but let’s make no mistake about it.We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slowdown or prevent it.” Washington opposes any free trade project in which it isexcluded or cannot control. Both the EEU and the BRI fall into that category.

那么美国政治巨头看到普京的计划是一个重大威胁的地区野心也就不足为奇了。事实上,前美国国务卿Hillary Clinton承认在2012年,她说,“这将被称为关税联盟,它将包括欧亚联盟和所有(其他国际组织),对此我们无能做出错误抉择。我们知道我们的目标是什么,我们正试图找出有效的方法来减缓或预防它。华盛顿反对任何将其排除在外或无法控制的自由贸易项目。欧洲经济区和“一带一路”都属于这一范畴。

The United States continues todemonize countries that simply want to use the market to improve the lives oftheir people and increase their prospects for prosperity. Washington’s hostileapproach is both misguided and counterproductive. Competition should be seen asa way to improve productivity and lower costs, not as a threat to over-bloated,inefficient industries that have outlived their usefulness. Here’s an excerptfrom an article that Putin wrote in 2011. It helps to show that Putin is notthe scheming tyrant he is made out to be in the western media, but a freemarket capitalist who enthusiastically supports globalization:


“Forthe first time in the history of humanity, the world is becoming truly global,in both politics and economics. A central part of this globalization is thegrowing importance of the Asia-Pacific region as compared to the EuroAtlanticworld in the global economy. Asia’s rise is lifting with it the economies of countriesoutside Asia that have managed to latch onto the “Asian economic engine”….TheUS has also effectively hitched itself to this “engine”, creating an economicand financial network with China and other countries in the region…


The “supercontinent” of Eurasiais home to two-thirds of the world’s population and produces over 60 percent ofits economic output. Because of the dramatic opening of China and the formerSoviet Union to the world, almost all the countries in Eurasia are becomingmore economically, politically, and culturally interdependent. …


Is it any wonder why Russia andChina have emerged as Washington’s biggest enemies? It has nothing to do withthe fictitious claims of election meddling or so-called “hostile behavior” inthe South China Sea. That’s nonsense. Washington is terrified that theRusso-Chinese economic integration plan will replace the US-dominated “liberal”world order, that cutting edge infrastructure will create an Asia-Europesuper-continent that no longer trades in dollars or recirculates profits into USdebt instruments. They are afraid that an expansive free trade zone thatextends from Lisbon to Vladivostok will inevitably lead to new institutions forlending, oversight and governance. They are afraid that a revamped 21st centurycapitalism will result in more ferocious competition for their clunkercorporations, less opportunity for unilateralism and meddling, and arules-based system where the playing field is painstakingly kept level. That’swhat scares Washington.


The Belt and Road Initiativeand the Eurasian Economic Union represent the changing of the guard. TheUS-backed ‘neoliberal’ model of globalisation is being rejected everywhere,from the streets of Paris, to Brexit, to the rise of right wings groups acrossEurope, to the unexpected election of Donald Trump in 2016. The Russo-Chinesemodel is built on a more solid, and less extractive, foundation. This newvision anticipates an interconnected multipolar world where the rules governingcommerce are decided by the participants, where the rights of every state arerespected equally, and where the new guarantors for regional securityscrupulously keep the peace. It is this vision of ‘revitalized capitalism’ thatWashington sees as its mortal enemy.

“一带一路”倡议和欧亚经济联盟代表着观念的转变。美国支持的“新自由主义”全球化模式在任何地方都遭到拒绝,从巴黎街头到英国退欧,从欧洲右翼团体的崛起,到2016年意外当选的Donald Trump。俄中模式建立在一个更坚实、更不易开采的基础之上。这一新的设想期望建立一个相互联系的多极世界,在这个世界中,管理商业的规则由参与者决定,每一个国家的权利都得到平等的尊重,区域安全的新保证国严格维护和平。华盛顿将这种“重振资本主义”的愿景视为死敌。