If you extract the efforts of what other countries are doing along the New Silk Road and just look at China's contributions during the Xi Jinping, BRI era, you're going to be left with neither a belt nor a road -- you don't have much of anything, really.

This isn't meant to detract from China's current and future Silk Road efforts, but to make the point that this is a fully multinational endeavor with a much longer history than is often credited to it. When we talk about the New Silk Road we are talking about an array of interconnected and interdependent trade routes and infrastructure and economic development projects, not a singular initiative cooked up in some back room on Tiananmen Square. Ultimately, this is what gives this project its versatility and power to shape the future.


When the AIIB was first announced, it was commonly feared that it would become China's way of countering the big development banks of the west and Japan -- the World Bank, ERDB, and the ADB -- and would ultimately undercut their humanitarian and ecological principles in the unchecked pursuit of progress. But what actually transpired was the exact opposite: the AIIB became a powerful compliment to the old guard of development banks, providing a much-needed source of additional funding to help set essential infrastructure projects into motion while maintaining and promoting their established ethical standards.

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