Evaluating China's New Silk Road

Chinese President Xi Jinping began 2016 with a tour through the Middle East, visiting Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt in hopes of strengthening ties and increasing Chinese influence in the region. The trip was part of the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, a strategy proposed by Xi in 2013 and aimed at connecting China with the Eurasian region.

After more than two decades of rapid modernization spurred by western investment, Beijing sees OBOR as an opportunity to export its own economic capabilities and influence westward, while at the same time flexing its industrial muscle. With President Xi’s new effort of spreading influence to the Middle East and beyond, Washington is watching with a close eye to make sure Beijing does not overstep its reach.

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