The Silk Road Economic Belt: Chinese open-source initiative

By Mohsen Shariatinia and Ehsan Razani
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 6, 2016
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The New Silk Road [By Jiao Haiyang/]

The "Belt and Road" initiative is a most important development strategy proposed by Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping, and it has already become a symbol of Chinese diplomacy in recent times.

Considering the action plan of the initiative issued by the Chinese government, one can find that the plan is to some extent similar to open-source software. Free or open-source software is commonly used computer software whose copyright holder provides the rights to study, develop and distribute it to others for any purpose.

Regarding the "Belt and Road" iInitiative, even though China has offered some strategies for the plan, she has kept the doors open for other countries to participate in developing its ongoing road map. In other words, while focusing on connectivity and cooperation among states, and acting within an open-source software framework, Beijing welcomes the initiatives of other countries concerning implementation.

Needless to say, the participation of a group of countries with different interests offers opportunities and challenges for the development and implementation of the "Belt and Road" initiative. Taking advantage of collective wisdom on an extremely broad level certainly can be considered as a great opportunity. The participation of different countries potentially provides the original architects of the "Belt and Road" initiative with the opportunity to develop the best plan for development.

Besides, it encourages participants to play a more effective role in formulating strategy, in monitoring policy implementation, and in developing the plan. It should help China to promote the plan in a way that looks like a product of a "collective effort" rather than as a "China-made" one. Such an image in the age of "global political awakening" could effectively ensure the plan's success.

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