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The New Silk Roads: a Major Innovative and Coordinated Project?

Author: Frédéric LASSERRE et Eric MOTTET

Type: Article

ref: 52020737-745

N0:5 of 2020

Pages: 737-745

Since the advent of the great Chinese design of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the media and researchers have frequently evoked a large innovative geopolitical project with a long-term vision, structured by central and coordinated planning. Some commentators see this as a mark of China’s ambition to establish a dominant position in Eurasia. However, a more detailed examination shows that the projects constituting the BRI, notably in the transport aspect, are neither innovative on the whole, nor necessarily of Chinese origin. Moreover, the governance of the BRI involves a large number of actors, and their efficiency is sometimes questionable, which calls into question the idea of a very controlled and piloted plan at the top of the Chinese government.