OBOR Introduction

Towards a New Global Order?
Ambitions, Scope and Challenges of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Introduction

More than five years after its initial launch, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the world’s most intensely debated developmental project. As a new development strategy, the BRI aims to fund and build infrastructure in more than 70 countries. It presents opportunities but also challenges for the affected economies in Southeast and Central Asia, Europe and Africa. At the same time, the BRI has also become the centerpiece of China’s foreign policy strategy, reshaping China’s position in international politics and its diplomatic relations with world.

Against this background, the workshop “Towards a New Global Order? Ambitions, Scope and Challenges of China’s Belt and Road Initiative” explores the complex entanglements between the BRI and China’s changing role in the global political economy: How to assess the motives and challenges of the BRI as a new development strategy in the context of slowing growth rates and overcapacity problems in the Chinese economy? What are the responses to the BRI by stakeholders in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Europe? And what are the implications of the BRI for international relations and China’s ascent to a global superpower?