Voice of America quotes IEMS’ Barry Sautman on the strategy behind China’s recent push to reopen ancient “Silk Road” trade routes

Published on: 2014-07-08


In a Voice of America article on China’s increasingly aggressive assertion into economic and military matters throughout Asia and Africa, IEMS’ Barry Sautman comments on the prospects and strategy behind China’s recent push to open ancient “Silk Road” trade routes connecting China with the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

As Barry Sautman described:

“China is also forming free trade agreements and promoting greater use of its currency in some countries along these trade routes. The increase in ties between China and these countries will not only boost trade, but also will increase China’s energy security.

Some analysts caution that China’s rebranding of these international trade routes does not signal a coherent national strategy.

“There is hardly anywhere, where there isn’t an impact, from the smallest islands to the largest developing countries, such as India,” said Barry Sautman, an associate professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “Whether there is a strategy on the part of China is a very different question. It seems to me there are strategies as opposed to a strategy. In China there are a lot of people proposing strategies, and there is no one strategy adopted by the central government of China.”

Sautman says some of these policies are based on contradictory ideas being put forward by officials, business people and academics in China on how best to engage with the rest of the world.”

Read the full article here: China Establishing New Silk Roads

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