The “new Silk Road” has emerged as the signature foreign policy initiative of Xi Jinping’s presidency and the main channel through which China is adapting its grand strategy to address daunting economic, environmental, and strategic challenges. In elite discourse, China’s “period of strategic opportunity” (zhànlüè jī yùqī) is no longer defined mainly by other powers’ relatively benign postures. In this context, the new Silk Road offers unique insight into descriptions of Chinese foreign policy as becoming more fènfā yǒu wéi (proactive, or self-achieving): China can increasingly leverage its own capabilities to enhance Chinese influence and secure Chinese interests by proactively encouraging greater regional and global multipolarity. While the West has long-term interests that would be well served by the new Silk Road’s success, this would also appreciably augment China’s strategic autonomy, ultimately compelling substantial adaptation in American grand strategy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science