One Belt, One Road

Can China's ambitious plan to reshape world trade succeed?


'One Belt, One Road' has emerged as the signature foreign policy initiative of the Xi Jinping administration. It envisions a vast, Chinese-built transportation network spanning inland Eurasia and coasts of the Indian Ocean.

The 'Silk Road Economic Belt' comprises railways, roads and logistics facilities that connect China to Europe via Central Asia, with branches extending to Pakistan, Iran and the Caucasus. The '21st Century Maritime Silk Road' is a series of ports around the Indian Ocean Rim.

To fund the initiatives, Beijing has established an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in which numerous US allies are now participating -- which is seen as a diplomatic defeat for Washington.

China's motives are economic: developing its impoverished western regions, generating new overseas demand to support domestic industries struggling with overcapacity, and ultimately boosting exports by cutting freight costs.

But the implications are also geopolitical: the 'belt' will open inland trade routes that are insusceptible to pressure from the US Navy, while controversial new port facilities may lay the foundation for China to establish a blue-water naval presence of its own.

  • What opportunities will 'One Belt, One Road' create for foreign investors?
  • What are the risks for China? What challenges will it encounter?
  • Which industries and countries will benefit most, and which will lose out?
  • Will Chinese political influence follow where the transportation routes lead?
  • How will Russia react to a greater Chinese presence in its 'backyard'?
  • Looking further ahead, what does it mean for China if 'One Belt, One Road' fails? And what does it mean for the world if it succeeds?

Please join us on Thursday, 26th May 2016 at 15:00 UK time to discuss these issues among others with a panel of Oxford Analytica’s expert advisors.