China’s Belt and Road Initiative has become the organizing foreign policy concept of the Xi Jinping era. The 21st-century version of the Silk Road will take shape around a vast network of transportation, energy, and telecommunication infrastructure linking Europe and Africa to Asia. China sees physical infrastructure as a first step toward Eurasian integration, thanks in part to the creation of economic corridors that will enable greater regional policy coordination.
Drawing from the work of Chinese official and analytic communities, China’s Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative examines the concept’s origins, drivers, and various component parts, as well as China’s domestic and international objectives. Rolland shows how the Belt and Road Initiative reflects Beijing’s desire to shape Eurasia according to its own worldview and unique characteristics. More than a list of revamped infrastructure projects, the initiative is a grand strategy that serves China’s vision for itself as the preponderant power in Eurasia and a global power second to none.