Competing Visions of the Western International Economic Order and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative: Challenges and Opportunities

in, Raudino, S., Poletti., A. (eds). Global Economic Governance and the Challenge of Human Development: Routledge. (Forthcoming)

Posted: 20 Feb 2018

See all articles by Uzma Ashraf Barton

Uzma Ashraf Barton

AIIFL, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong; Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: February 1, 2018

Abstract

China’s infrastructure-based Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is challenging the US-led Western International Economic Governance Order (hereafter the Western order) that has been in place since the end of World War II, reflecting a global shift in power and influence from the United States to China. In the aftermath of World War II, the US continued to provide a leadership role in international development, steering the establishment of the Bretton Woods institutions with an original mandate to rebuild the infrastructure of the shattered post-war economies, to promote international economic cooperation, and to increase free trade among independent states. These institutions, which are collectively recognized as representing the western international economic order, are embedded in western values and have successfully influenced the domestic political and economic system of many developing countries. Since the 1990s, China, which neither approved nor adopted the western order, challenged the Western order in Africa and Latin America. Now Beijing is reimagining the rules of the geostrategic “great game” in Central and Southern Asia, through its sui generis economic, legal and political system. China has set to replace the Western value system with its own vision — the so-called Beijing Consensus — based on the principles of non-interference, equal standing and mutual prosperity. The Belt and Road Initiative and the establishment of Asian Development Financing Institutions exhibit China’s grand vision of Asian development based on the Chinese development model. The BRI’s flagship project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is considered a test-case for Beijing’s grand vision of a Chinese-led Asian development plan and for advancing diplomacy through infrastructure-based economic development. Although the western economic governance order and the Chinese development model diverge in their value system and even in their objectives, this research finds more opportunities in these two competing visions than the perceived challenges. The aim of this chapter is to understand these manifold perceived challenges to the western order and highlight the opportunities for collaboration in order to maximize development benefits for the developing countries of Eurasian region.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), Asian Infrastructure Development, Western International Economic Governance order, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), US-China Policy, Chinese Development Model, Washington Consensus, Beijing Consensus, South Asia, Economic Development

JEL Classification: F02, F21, F34, F36, F54, F55, F63, D73, O19, O38, O53, K23, K33

Suggested Citation

Barton, Uzma Ashraf, Competing Visions of the Western International Economic Order and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative: Challenges and Opportunities (February 1, 2018). in, Raudino, S., Poletti., A. (eds). Global Economic Governance and the Challenge of Human Development: Routledge. (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3118479

Uzma Ashraf Barton (Contact Author)

AIIFL, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Faculty of Law, Pokfulam Road
Pokfulam
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
+852 9285 4145 (Phone)
+85225593543 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.aiifl.com

Georgetown University Law Center

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United States

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