From Tanzania to Malaysia, Russia to Iran, Eyck Freymann takes readers inside China’s One Belt One Road, the largest global infrastructure development program in history.
In this authoritative and accessible book, Freymann argues that OBOR is not the centralized and systematic investment policy that many commentators have made it out to be. Rather, it is a largely aspirational and sometimes ad hoc campaign to export an ancient Chinese model of patronage and tribute. Inside China, propaganda depicts President Xi Jinping restoring the nation’s lost imperial glory. Overseas, China uses massive investments to cultivate relationships with willing politicians and political parties. Freymann finds that this strategy is working. Even in countries where OBOR megaprojects fail, political leaders are still excited about the potential benefits of continued partnership with China.
One Belt One Road is a guide for understanding China’s burgeoning commercial empire. Drawing on primary documents in five languages, interviews with many senior officials, and on-the-ground case studies from the salt flats of Sri Lanka to the shipyards of Greece, Freymann tells the monumental story of the world’s latest encounter with Chinese power.