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Monday, October 16, 2017

Australia ‘wait and see’ on China's "Belt and Road" Fantasy - ur - Initiative? Akbar's Warning

Interesting piece from the Aussie Lowy Institute's "The Interpreter" Belt and Road: The case for ‘wait and see’
. . . BRI raises bigger questions about the kind of regional economic and security order we would like to see in the Indo-Pacific. It is telling that BRI is organised on a 'hub-and-spokes' model, despite Chinese claims that it is somehow 'multilateral' in form. The 'One Belt' and 'One Road' run back to One Capital – Beijing – and joining BRI would require signing a bilateral memorandum of understanding with China rather signing up to some kind of internationally negotiated, rules-governed, multilateral institution. This speaks volumes about China's ambitions under Xi, particularly the desire for a Sino-centric economic order in which Beijing decides who gets trading and financial privileges from China, and who does not.
Sounds a lot like flypaper.

Or, as Admiral Akbar put it:



It all makes sense if you think of China as the "Middle Kingdom" and the rest of the world as tribute-paying barbarians.



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