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Strengths and Challenges of China’s “One belt, One road” Initiative

Written by Irina Ionela Pop, Centre for Geopolitics & Security in Realism Studies (CGSRS)

China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, formally presented on 28 March 2015, is not just another “new Silk Road project”. Rather it is a consistent and ambitious Eurasian strategy of an emergent power. The OBOR initiative is based on existing and planned linkages from various regions of China towards the outside world. Supported by large financial contributions, it seems to be better articulated than other similar projects. Therefore, this paper aims to present the strengths and implementation challenges of China’s OBOR initiative. We took into account several levels on analysis: national, regional and international. In this sense, we focused on domestic constraints, tensions in China's neighbourhood, and great power rivalries. Finally, we tried to offer several suggestions regarding the improvement of China’s initiative. The suggestions concern the initiative’s planning and implementation, the means to improve its bilateral relations with neighbours and great powers, in order to be perceived as a responsible power on the international arena.

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