Concepts, themes, institutions and events connected to the BRI

I - P

Kindleberger Trap

“MIT professor Charles Kindleberger’s classical arguments that the Great Depression in the 1930s was caused by the shortage of global public goods provision when the isolationist United States refrained from assuming the responsibility while Great Britain lost its capability to play the role.

Given the above incentive-capacity imbalances in both the U.S. and China, it is possible that the world might experience a dark decade like the 1930s again?”
The Diplomat 



Malacca Dilemma

The Malacca Strait is a strategic maritime choke point between Malaysia and Indonesia. China is over-reliant on it for its energy source and is concerned that the often patrolling USA Navy could hinder Chinese development. ​



‘March West’
Chinese:(西走)Xiàng xī zǒu

Wang Jisi, Professor at Peking University, in a piece published in the Global Times in October 2012, makes the argument that due to the USA’s attempts to block China’s progress to the East, then a more natural move would be towards the West, through Central Asia. This is contested by some within China, claiming that the sea to the West should be China’s priority.


Maritime Silk Road (MSR) – officially the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt
Chinese: 21世纪海上丝绸之路 21 Shìjì hǎishàng sīchóu zhī lù


A sister initiative to the SREB, the MSR was first announced by Xi Jinping in 2013. It is stated to connect China to Southeast Asia, Oceania, and North Africa by sea, including the extremely contentious South China Sea.



New Eurasian Land Bridge (also known as Second or New Eurasian Continental Bridge)

The Southern branch of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, an overland rail link between Europe and East Asia that passes through Kazakhstan. 


Nurly Zhol ‘The Way of the Road’
Russian: Нурлы жол
Kazakh: Нұрлы жол

A $9 billion domestic economic stimulus package announced by President Nazarbayev in 2014. Its aim is to modernize and develop ports, railways, roads, IT, education and civil service in Kazakhstan. It is also connected to the development of the OBOR in Kazakhstan.
It consists of 7 parts:


One-Belt/One-Road (OBOR) – Belt and Road Initiative  (BRI)*
Chinese: 一带一路 / Yídài yílù
Russian: Новый шёлковый путь / Noviy shyolkoviy put’

A strategic framework, proposed by People’s Republic of China (PRC) paramount leader, Xi Jinping, with the stated objective to focus on connecting, both economically and possibly politically, countries to the PRC to increase trade and investment. It has two main components; the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and the ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR).

*Originally called the One Belt One Road, after 2016 it is commonly known as the BRI, as the use of the term 'One' was deemed to give the impression that the project was 'owned' by one country: China. 一带一路 is still used in Chinese language media. 


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Founded in 1961 with 37 members, the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation designed to stimulate world trade and economic development, with membership mostly by states that claim to promote in the belief in democracy and market economics. It has the stated role of promoting 'good practice'. 

It appeared post-WWI, in connection with the Marshall Plan and the rebuilding of Europe. It promotes tax conventions, working papers and is considered a statistical agency. 

Neither China nor Kazakhstan are members. 


“positive energy”
Chinese: 正能量 Zhèng né

A CPC idea that is intended to act as a counterweight to what the party perceives to be negative perceptions about its actions.