China’s One Road to Unity



Shenzhen City Planning Exhibition Hall One Band One Road Jan 2017 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The one belt one road (OBOR) initiative is a massive mega project that will connect China with 70 other countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania.

Modelled after the historically famous Silk Road, it will build many new  trade routes land and sea. So far India, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Malaysia and Poland all have joined in the project in hope of expanding and modernizing a world connected transportation system.

Prairie Ridge teachers commented on various aspects of this megaproject.

“The civil engineering aspect would be the most challenging part of the project going through various tough terrain, but this project can bear great shipping benefits for many of the countries involved,” said PR engineering and design teacher Mr. Low.

China has begun this expensive project with an unprecedented budget of 1 trillion dollars and will loan money to other countries to help China in its massively expensive trade network.

Mr. Seyring, PRHS Microeconomics teacher, sees benefits for China but cautions that other countries may see negative consequences.

“It can be a major economic boost but this could also mean a trade block with other countries who aren’t involved,” he said.

China may attempt to control shipping on all these routes. This control is one of the concerns. If the project fails it may cause the aiding countries to go into China’s debt trap too.

Uninvolved countries see this as China’s attempt to help further its economy, despite all its debt.

Besides the uninvolved countries, Chinese citizens may not be as thrilled either, as their taxes help pay for this expansive project which loans money to countries like Syria, Turkey and North Korea with more dictatorial leaders who instead may squander the loaned money into “other” projects to their liking.

“I cannot imagine that this will go smoothly especially with the nations China is trusting. I believe a physical road system would be unnecessary and the money could be better invested in other aspects,” says PR World Studies teacher Mrs. Dunker.

However despite much opposition, President Xi Jinping and China’s communist party insists continuing the mega project into the future. Meanwhile, other countries consider joining their cause.