One Belt One Road (OBOR) Project – Modern Era Silk Route

‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project is a massive initiative fueled by the vision of Xi Jinping, the Chinese President. The initiative aims to establish connectivity and economic co-operation among various countries across the globe. 

Why is One Belt One Road (OBOR) project important?

The ambitious One Belt One Road initiative is being promoted by China. The vision is to enhance connectivity among various countries in Asia, Africa and Europe by improving both land and maritime routes.  The project envisages involvement of 65 countries with a population of 4.4 billion and combined GDP of more than USD 22 billion. China which has promoted the concept is leading from front to create the largest economic alliance of the world. 

Has ancient Silk Route or Silk Road any connection with the proposed OROB?

Silk route or Silk Road, the ancient interconnected trade routes had played a vital role in the progress of China. Silk Road aided connection between west and East centuries ago. The connection promoted export of silk from China to various parts of the world like Korea, Japan, Arbia, Persia , Europe and Africa.  The Han dynasty and Zhang Qian, the Chinese imperial envoy, played major roles in development of Silk Route which caused cultural interactions of various countries.  The trades through the road alone ensured sustained developmenmt of Chinese region around 2000 years back. 

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Why is China promoting the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project?

Through OROB mission, China is trying to recreate the same kind of economic progress  that resulted from Silk Route.  China envisages to:
a.    Promote domestic growth
b.    Project  Renminbi , the Chinese currency as a substitute for existing leading currencies
c.    Establish economic diplomacy with the countries in the route and 
d.    Continue the economic setback it suffered due to exclusion from G7.  

What are the developments so far?

China has already hosted a two day  Belt and Road Forum (BRF)  meeting on OBOR  in  May 2017. The meeting was attended by 29 Heads of State.  From South Asia, all countries except Bhutan and India participated in the meeting. India and Japan are two major countries opposed to OBOR.  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a part of OROB,  passes through Pak occupied Kashmir( PoK). Due to sovereignty concerns, India has objected CPEC  and has decided to oppose OROB project. 

What are advantages and challenges associated with OROB?

One Belt One Road initiative is expected to
a.    Promote infrastructure development in less developed  countries like Afghanistan  and Pakistan
b.    Boost economy of many countries and
c.    Enhance international co-existence

The challenges anticipated are:
a.    Security risk from unstable countries on the route
b.    Economists fear that some poor countries may have to carry economic burden beyond their capacity 
c.    The fear that China’s intentions are  strategic and economic domination 
d.    Human rights violations  and 
e.    Stress on environment 

It is anticipated that the project will improve the living standards in 65 countries and that China, the force behind the project will have more influence in these countries in coming years.
 

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Summary
One Belt One Road (OBOR) Project – Modern Era Silk Route
Article Name
One Belt One Road (OBOR) Project – Modern Era Silk Route
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‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project is a massive initiative fueled by the vision of Xi Jinping, the Chinese President. Through OBOR, he wants a connectivity like silk Route.
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