In a new book review for JCA, Penelope B. Prime of the China Research Center, Atlanta, USA looks at The China-led Belt and Road Initiative and its Reflections: The Crisis of Hegemony and Changing Global Orders.
Edited by Mehdi Parvizi Amineh and published by Routledge, the editor sets the collection’s questions: (i) Why did China set up the BRI? (ii) What are the BRI projects in various countries? (iii) How does the BRI affect the participating countries? In addition, Prime observes: “the authors also address an overarching issue: How the BRI has affected China’s rise and the global system.
She also notes that the “authors accept the decline of US global leadership as given. They do wonder, however, what a new, multipolar world with China in the lead would be like.” They do this mainly from an economic perspective.
The uneasiness about China’s growing role in the world among BRI partner and Western countries suggests that China would benefit from being more transparent about its goals. The BRI can be a boost to developing countries with few resources. Africa, central Asia and Latin America sorely need infrastructure. Given the scale of the needs, and the scale of China’s response through the BRI, China can learn from its BRI successes and challenges. More transparency and a coherent set of ideas about China’s view of its role in the world are necessary for a rising hegemon.