China’s Silk Road Illusions

The Chinese government’s marketing of the Belt Road Initiative has played upon myths and half-remembered facts about China’s past—“the glory of the silk routes,” in Xi Jinping’s words. And the narrative gives credence to the notion that, until the age of Western aggression, China was the master of the region. But China has enough problems on its own borders without dreams of reliving the achievements of the Ming dynasty master mariner Zheng He. Where will the BRI be in 2030?

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