Among the news items and analyses from this week, a piece published on Eurasia Review discusses whether China’s impact on the global governance ‘consensus’ is that of a constructive upholder or rather that of a destructive ‘spoiler’, especially in light of the ongoing US withdrawal from multilateral governance on many fronts [Is China Changing Post-war Consensus Or Enhancing It?]. While Beijing’s growing political and economic influence is unquestionably ‘disruptive’ (i.e. change-inducing) for the Western establishment, such disruptions can be read under both a positive and a negative light. If deploying the former, the author suggests, then China’s drive to reform and/or provide alternatives to the Bretton Woods multilateral (development) institutions could play a crucial complementary role to push ‘traditional’ actors to rethink their approach and, eventually, lead to a surge in development aid efficiency which would greatly benefit developing countries. The analysis also argues that, from the Chinese side, President Xi’s now highly likely third mandate could ultimately bolster Beijing’s domestic stability and foreign policy continuity, thereby adding greater predictability to China’s ‘disruptions’ and thus making it less likely to ‘spoil’ the system.
Regardless of the nature of the assessment, it is important to stress the steadily increasing degree of attention paid to China’s global initiatives by the very Western establishment some say China is actively trying to subvert. In this light, a World Bank blog post [Trade Linkages Among Belt and Road Economies: Three Facts and One Prediction]summarising a recent WB report analyses the evolution of trade and production linkages of the economies along China’s flagship connectivity initiative: the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The report observes that (1) BRI economies account for an increasing share of world gross exports and (2) they are increasingly involved in global value chains (GVCs), with China itself playing a more central role in said chains. However, many of these economies are still heavily reliant on non-BRI countries for added value in large sectors such as electronics. Thus, the report concludes that the BRI’s impact on global trade flows (especially via infrastructure development-related reduced trade costs) could further expand, provided that it manages to integrate more economies into its own GVCs.
Francesco S. Montesano
This week's Silk Road Headlines
What Mahathir’s Return Means for China and the Region [China US Focus]
Is China Changing Postwar Consensus Or Enhancing It? [Eurasia Review]
“Here There Be Dragons” How Brussels Is Losing Influence In Central & Eastern Europe [Silk Road Briefing]
China's Belt and Road Initiative and aviation [CAPA Centre for Aviation]
China’s Belt and Road a dilemma for Germany [Asia Times]
The New Silk Road Project Completes Ferry Crossing, Rotterdam Port Visit[Vagabond Journey]