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This book explains the importance of globalization and the Belt and Road Initiative, which is one of the essential projects of President Xi Jinping, and where China fits on the global arena. Additionally, the contributors cover such important topics as China’s maritime traffic, infrastructure along the modern Silk Road, the South China Sea, and China’s relationship with Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor, Hong Kong, and Macao. This edited volume will interest scholars, researchers, and students in the fields of Asian studies, globalization, political science, and Chinese politics.



Chapter 1. Introduction

This book concerns globalization and the Belt and Road, also called the modern Silk Road. The question of infrastructure is sometimes criticized by those who do not like the new Silk Road. Arbitration and English language are essential for the development of China’s globalization in the twenty-first century. The opportunities and risks of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be studied in this chapter.
Jean A. Berlie

Chapter 2. The New Silk Road

The name Silk Road is ancient and continues to be very attractive with 2000 years of history. Globalization also has a long history but came into fashion late in the 1980s. The Western empires succeeded to develop trade and economic exchanges, culture and education, which were also part of the colonial discourse. At present globalization is much more global. For China, it is implicitly linked with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which starts in Central Asia. China’s discourse on political economy, geopolitics and world trade occupy a very important space. Infrastructure development is essential to really establish the Belt and Road program, which was initiated in 2013. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) predicates modernity, multiculturalism, interdisciplinarity and the Internet strengthens it. International arbitration has to be developed to make the New Silk Road more global.
Jean A. Berlie

Chapter 3. Xinjiang and Central Asia’s Pivot of History for the Belt and Road Initiative

The re-emergence of Central Asia in world history imposes a new consideration of Xinjiang, the gate of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). For Xinjiang also, the Belt and Road Initiative constitutes China’s greatest project for the twenty-first century. Xinjiang is a pivot of the new history of Central Asia, and through it the new Silk Road is able to reach far away countries. The history, society, economy and geopolitics along the ancient Silk Road provide a perspective to understand the Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia.
Jean A. Berlie

Chapter 4. Infrastructure and the Belt and Road Initiative

This chapter discusses infrastructure and specifically the megaproject of China’s President Xi Jinping, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is sure that infrastructure is a major point to look at the ethic of China along the Belt and Road Initiative. The author pointed the cases of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Myanmar. This chapter deals with the important question of dispute resolution. The outlook on economy, development impacts, risks and challenges, and arbitration on infrastructure along the Belt and Road shows that infrastructure remains a priority for China, a challenger to the existing international order.
Manuel Benard

Chapter 5. The Greater Bay Area and the Role of Hong Kong and Macau SARs in the Belt and Road Initiative

Mainland China, the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of China are involved in the global projects called the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Finance, economy and infrastructure are at the forefront of Hong Kong’s sectors. Its financial system is well regulated in many areas.
The urban population of the GBA is growing, and with the development of the Belt and Road Initiative many cities in the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macau triangle will be linked. Hong Kong, since decades is the world’s freest economy, see the 2019 index of economic freedom, and Macau is also a free economy. Hong Kong has a key role—already fully implemented by President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam—for the development of the Greater Bay Area which became promoted with the symbolic and quite extraordinary new giant bridge linking Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau (Macau, Ponte HK-Zhuhai-Macau, Serie IV, Nr 63, 2018). Already Hong Kong and Shenzhen have merged into one block virtually separated only by the law until 2047. Similar interconnections link Macau and Zhuhai. The Hong Kong Basic Law does not allow the fusion of the two cities, but now the name Greater Bay Area links them and had changed something. It shows the beginning of a future fusion out of the legal system. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is one of the most important factors of economic and financial development of China’s globalization. Certainly, the Greater Bay Area will contribute to the development of the Belt and Road Initiative in the future. The major function of the Greater Bay Area is to expand the role of Hong Kong, Macau and the Province of Guangdong to develop the Belt and Road Initiative; this was clearly mentioned by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Macau is a historical tourist center and was before 2014 the first casino city of the world.
Jean A. Berlie, Steven Hung

Chapter 6. China’s Development of Public Goods in the South China Sea Islands

It is necessary for China to offer more public goods meaning more facilities available to all nations and peoples coming in the South China Sea (SCS) to help secure peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Arbitration, an important question for the South China Sea and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is discussed. This chapter shows a positive view of China in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, but does not forget to point out the slow implementation of the development of public goods, the services useful for the seamen entering in a contested region of the world.
Zhang Mingliang

Chapter 7. China’s Globalization and the Belt and Road Project: The Case of Indonesia and Malaysia

This chapter seeks to position two countries straddling mainland and maritime Southeast Asia within China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), namely Indonesia and Malaysia. China’s BRI is not seen as threatening per se, this is related with our theme of the book. While in Indonesia the Bandung Railroad project funded by China also remains an area of controversy, in contrast to Malaysia, Chinese projects in Indonesia are spread more widely ranging from infrastructure, steel, agriculture and high technology. In the case of Indonesia, China must step carefully with its high profile initiatives, especially given the history of nationalistic backlash against the nation’s small but economically important Chinese minority. In Malaysia, Chinese investment in transport infrastructure—including grandiose railway projects—appeared to trigger a strong reaction in 2018 on the part of the incoming government led by newly sworn-in Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad citing potential indebtedness and echoes of neo-colonialism.
Geoffrey C. Gunn

Chapter 8. Timor-Leste and the Australia Treaty on Maritime Borders and Implications for the Belt and Road Initiative

This chapter deals with the dispute resolution on the maritime borders of Timor-Leste. On March 6, 2018, a treaty was signed in New York between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste establishing their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. However, the two states could not come to an agreement on how to develop the Greater Sunrise gas fields and to build a Timorese plant; the negotiations are continuing. Bayu-Undan, the major producing field within the new Timorese maritime area, is expected to cease production around 2022.
The main question is Timor-Leste’s desire to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant on the southern coast of the island. At present, it seems to be the sine qua non condition for the Government of Timor-Leste and Xanana Gusmão, the main negotiator. Diversifying the economy of the new country is not working so well, and developing tourism will not make Timor-Leste as attractive as Bali, so the rich fields of Greater Sunrise will have to be the main economic resource for the Timorese people. The new country of the twenty-first century would receive 80 percent of the revenue if gas from the fields is piped to the existing ConocoPhillips-operated Darwin LNG processing terminal in northern Australia. Timor-Leste would receive 70 percent if the gas is piped to a not-yet-built industrial complex on its southern coast. This chapter also considers the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, especially its processes for dispute resolution, and its potential to play a direct role in the Timor-Leste petroleum sector.
Peter Murphy, Jean A. Berlie

Chapter 9. Africa-China Relations in the Context of Belt and Road Initiative: Realizing African-Chinese Dreams for Common Development?

Since its launch in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become synonymous with Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping. While China has seen its relations with Africa institutionalized in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) since 2000, little attention, however, has been paid to exploring the role of African countries in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This chapter seeks to understand Africa-China relations in the context of Beijing’s new-found interest in inserting Africa into the Belt and Road route. Contrary to China’s official rhetoric on sharing the benefits of the country’s economic growth globally, it argues that Africa’s inclusion in the Belt and Road Initiative—President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy—is to demonstrate China’s system self-confidence and belief that it can offer a Chinese model of economic development—the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics as an alternative to Western model for developing countries in Africa to learn from.
Raymond Kwun-Sun Lau

Chapter 10. A Chinese-African Cross Cultural Perspective on Dispute Settlement and the Belt and Road Initiative: Challenges and Risks Facing Chinese Investors

Dispute settlement is essential not only in China and South Africa but also along the global Belt and Road Initiative project of China. It is important to protect the interest of Chinese investors. Two main legal points are discussed: the umbrella clause and the fork-in-the-road provision. The wish to have more transparency is clearly mentioned. However, it is too early for China to accept a high level of transparency as in other bilateral investment treaties (BITs). Besides arbitration, the author also suggests other flexible ways, such as consultation and negotiation between government and private parties to resolve investment disputes in Africa. Few African countries prefer to resolve investment disputes with Chinese investors by means of arbitration or litigation.
Li Ke

Chapter 11. Epilogue

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), sometimes criticized, already succeeded to link many countries on all five continents. There is no infrastructure development without risks. The USA and China are two superpowers which need to have more cooperation to avoid a negative post-Cold War. Peace is essential for the future of humanity.
Jean A. Berlie


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