Concepts, themes, institutions and events connected to the BRI

Q - Z

Salami Slicing

A derogatory phrase that describes a process of doing many small clandestine acts to achieve a bigger objective, that would be considered either unlawful or unpalatable, or difficult to achieve if attempted all at once.
In regards to IR, it is a  perceived attempt at regional hegemony by China by small, seemingly unconnected actions that don’t cause a Casus Belli but advances (the suggested) aim of Chinese domination by the PRC.
Example: Indian Army General Bipin Rawat comments regarding China: “salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold”.


Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

The SCO is comprised of five initial members (Shanghai Five, S-5) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. It is a political, economic and military organisation based around Eurasia. In July 2017, India and Pakistan joined the ‘Shanghai Pact’, a platform used for the aim of increasing cooperation and regional integration.


Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB)
Chinese: 丝绸之路经济带 Sīchóu zhī lù jīngjì dài

The land-based part of the OBOR. It potentially consists of several different corridors and nodes, mainly consisting of rail link-ups throughout Eurasia, going through Kazakhstan into Eastern Europe and beyond. It is partly being financed by the Sino-Russian Investment Fund, a cooperation between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Investment Corporation.


Three Evils
Chinese: 三恶 Sān è
Russian: Три зла Tri zla


The major threats described by the Chinese government as ‘terrorism, separatism, religious extremism’. The term is used in counter-terrorism or crackdowns by China and other members of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization). It is especially used as justification for state actions in Xinjiang.


Thucydides Trap

Graham Tillett Allison Jr’s idea that there is a severe risk of war between a rising power and an incumbent one, based on Thucydides quote: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” This is often referred to when referencing the relationship between the USA and China.


Chinese: 赢得胜利 Yíngdé shènglì


The concept that the OBOR (and therefore China by association) is not expansionist but a development initiative that will enhance trade routes that will result in mutual benefit for countries aligned in China’s ‘circle of friends’.