Realize the chinese dream: one belt-one road as china's new round of state-building
Pang, Eric Wei Lun
Date of Issue2017-05-05
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Since China's President Xi Jinping has put forth the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposals (One Belt-One Road) in September and October 2013 respectively, there has been a lack of clarity from Beijing, aside from advocating the benefits of enhancing regional connectivity and seeking mutual benefits in mutual cooperation. This study attempts to shed some light on the planning of One Belt-One Road initiative as China's new round of statebuilding policy. This study is not an attempt to refute IR scholars' analysis of OBOR as an international initiative by the Chinese State but to argue that these discourses are incomplete, and that it is an international initiative with core national interests in mind . This study puts forward a more extensive contextual analysis of domestic politics and state-building, in which OBOR is embedded, and a contingent part of. After his predecessors' relative economic successes, Xi is eager to lay down a marker as he turns OBOR into an enticing national project and hard sell the "Chinese dream" to the citizens. This initiative represents neither a militant nor a malignant economic strategy to alter the current international system of order, it rather represents a key state-building policy under Xi's new leadership; it is a strategy that is borne out of the pressing needs to address inherent domestic problems and to unite a diversifying society, more so than usurping the United States as the new world hegemon.