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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Collective participation, of course, also has its problems. The most important challenge is that the Silk Road Economic Belt covers a wide area. Thus, the more the countries involved in the plan, the more variation in proposed policies for action and practices that can be expected. Another problem is that most of the "Belt and Road" countries are developing nations more or less suffering from the weaknesses of bureaucratic structures.

This would perhaps make an important obstacle to policy coordination, the main avenue for improving cooperation among the participating countries.

Another challenge is the lack of a well-established culture of convergence and cooperative practices in some parts of the geographical zone of the "Belt and Road" initiative. Unlike the European Union that is considered as part of the "Belt and Road" plan as well as a potent symbol of economic integration and political unity, regional integration has not been implemented properly in some parts of West and South Asia.

Hence, the zero-sum game has turned into the dominant factor shaping relationships between most of the states in these regions. Needless to say, it will be difficult for Beijing to meet the objectives of the initiative in such a context.

In sum, although developing an action plan for the "Belt and Road" initiative within an open-source framework is a wise move in accordance with the requirements of strategic planning in the 21st Century, it also entails significant challenges for China and partner countries along the road.

Mohsen Shariatinia is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute for Regional Studies, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran.

Ehsan Razani is member of the School of Law and Politics, Islamic Azad University, Shahrood, Iran

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of


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