One Belt, One Road and China's Evolution in Foreign Policy and Regional Leadership

Ouyang, Lily, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia
Maillet, Peter, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia
Wilhelm, William, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia

During his visit to Kazakhstan in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative that aims to construct a well-connected infrastructure system and integrated economy across Eurasia. Since OBOR’s inception, speculations on its motivations have been rife, one of which is that OBOR is China’s Marshall Plan. Although such claim has been brought up repeatedly, no research has examined its validity. This research explores whether the two strategies are comparable in nature by investigating in their economic and political motives. Specifically, it seeks to understand OBOR in the context of the evolution of China’s foreign policy. The conclusion is that OBOR and the Marshall Plan are comparable from an economic perspective as they both helped alleviate excess capacity in China and the U.S. However, the political rationales behind the two strategies are completely different: while the Marshall Plan attempted to impose a political-economic structure, i.e., liberal capitalism, on Europe, OBOR resorted to non-interventionism and ideology-neutrality to minimize conflict and maximize China’s interest. For such reason, this research concludes that OBOR and Marshall Plan are two strategies with distinct natures.

BSC (Bachelor of Science in Commerce)
One Belt One Road, OBOR, infrastructure, China’s global investment, Eurasia economic integration

Global Commerce Scholar

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