China is energetically pressing ahead with the “New Silk Road“ resp. „OBOR“

A report and some food for thought

A lively report by Christoph Hein in the „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ ( covering program and actual progress of China’s giant  project called „OBOR“ („One Belt One Road“ ) or „New Silk Road“.

Many countries from Southern Asia to the Balkans, many of them in Central Asia, and maritime nations, too, as e.g. Thailand, Sri Lanka, Djibouti (Africa) are now getting roads, railways, ports, power stations etc. from China’s capitalism.

Certainly not because  of Chinese altruism, but that is a different subject.

There is another fundamental question, however,  that once must be raised: which are the causes of the extreme economic backward- and neediness of quite a few of these countries (Pakistan, e.g., and Africa), into which China is now bumping into? And is being welcomed, as I suppose, by relevant parts of the populations, which for the first time can feel that economic progress is possible?

Has not the global predominance of Western capitalism – that in the final analysis had been defining, for the past decades,  the economic development, or to be more exact: the infamous non-development of these large regions of the globe and is co-responsible for the misery there –  prepared them to be fertile ground for China’s activism of today? Ne‘er-do-well, miserable governments in many of these countries have been and still are cultivating, to the detriment of their populations, their own affluency and the beggarly life of hundreds of millions, have been blocking any development of culture, and all of this under the umbrella of Western global capitalism and its financial regime.

As a matter of historical fairness, note has to be taken to he fact that especially the Central Asian area, where states as Kasachstan, Turcmenistan etc. are now to be found, had been parts of the former Soviet Union and had indeed experienced relevant developments in economy and culture – much to the chagrin of many an Islamic traditionalist. That is long gone, and ever since the Soviet Union’s final breakup (1991) the regional power-wielders and the Western – international – powers could have shown what they can achieve.

China’s „New Silk Road“ project, as it is well known, is giving occasion to ruminate on certain „Eurasia“ concepts, on a newly emerging Chinese imperialism and similar questions. Not the least, though, on the historic debacle which our own Western capitalism and imperialism has been bringing about for large parts of the world.

(This article is the translation of my German article of May 25, 2018. Apologies for clumsiness in my English!)


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