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Mega Trends of China: The Belt and Road Strategic Plan

By Chi Lo (Senior Economist, Greater China, BNP Paribas Investment Partners)

SUMMARY

•    China’s Belt and Road strategy aims at achieving long-term economic and political objectives. Its east-west land route will enable China to access huge natural resources reserves and exert influence on the world’s oil production and consumption regions. But this route is fraught with difficulties.

•    The north-south route will link China to South and SE Asia by land and sea. The land route will most likely take priority for implementation due to favourable economic and political factors, with the Mekong sub-region likely to be the first to benefit.

•    China’s Yunnan province will be the gateway linking the rich SE China with the Mekong sub-region and the rest of SE Asia. This linkage will also extend China’s influence to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. But there seems to be no coordinated effort on implementation, despite the grand vision.

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