نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
1 دانشجوی دکتری جغرافیای سیاسی، دانشکده جغرافیا، دانشگاه تهران، تهران، ایران.
2 استادیار جغرافیای سیاسی، دانشگاه تهران، تهران، ایران.
عنوان مقاله [English]
In the framework of the "Doctrine of China's Peaceful rise" to dispel the imagine of threat the country's rise in the new world order in the early 21st century, in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a plan to revitalize the classic land-based Silk Road, a combined set of six sea and land corridors consisting of two separate components: the Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road Economic Belt, and became known as the "One Belt One Road" and "Belt and Road Initiative". Both components of the China Initiative have the potential to transform the global geopolitical landscape in favor of China's emerging power by building interconnected infrastructure projects including ports, highways, railways and pipelines. Implementing this initiative requires overcoming many challenges, the most important of which can be considered geopolitical challenges. The present study was conducted in a descriptive-analytic and library manner using information obtained through scientific books and articles and in order to represent the geopolitical challenges facing the Chinese government to realize the "One Belt One Road Initiative". The purpose of this paper is the representation of the external challenges facing the Chinese government from a global geopolitical perspective to implement the One Belt One Road initiative based on the two components of the "Maritime Silk Road initiative" and the "Silk Road Economic Belt". In other words, in this article we seek to highlight the geopolitical challenges of the Chinese government's new plan within the framework of the doctrine of Peaceful Rise. Although the initiative was proposed by the Chinese in the shadow of a peaceful doctrine, it is in fact seeking to change the geopolitical world order in China's favor.
This descriptive-analytic method was conducted to represent the geopolitical challenges of the China OBOR Initiative. The information and data of this research have been obtained through the library method and scientific books and articles. The main inquiry within this research study is what are the geopolitical challenges to the OBOR initiative, and the paper assumes that there are eight obstacles that call into question the implementation of this initiative. These challenges include: China's maritime disputes with neighboring states, the existing geographical barriers, alternative schemes of powerful geopolitical actors (the conceptual plan of the Eurasian- Russian Economic Union, Mausam India project, against the OBOR and String of Pearls, the Modern U.S. Silk Road Conceptual Plan for the Central Asia, the Innovative European Union Silk Road Conceptual Plan, the multiple Japanese Designs Modern Silk Road Concept), the territorial dispute between Russian Federation and Ukraine, the turmoil of India-Pakistan relations, the continuous civil wars in: Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the instability of some countries along the designed route and the security challenges.
Results and Conclusions
From the beginning of the present century, China proclaims its doctrine of a peaceful yet gradual emergence to eliminate the "Perception of Threat" of the Western Countries as well as United States within the region. Its foreign diplomacy methodology is to revitalize the Classic Silk Road. The most crucial hindrances which are currently facing this project are the geopolitical challenges and barriers that the Chinese Government has been grappling since 2013. This article identified twelve important geopolitical obstacles for the implementation of this project. Some of these essential challenges includes: The China’s maritime disputes with its neighboring countries, in the South China Sea Region; the geographical natural barriers, among which we can mention: the breadth of the designed trade route, the geographical and topographic inequality of countries in this route and some other problematic factors; alternative schemes of powerful geopolitical actors, such as: The India's Mausam Project, as one of China's regional competitors, has an actual pessimistic approach to the country's Modernized Silk Road Project and tries to encounter the Chinese innovative project by presenting their own alternative development project; the new U.S. Silk Road Plan for the Central Asia Region, designed primarily to monitor Afghanistan, bypassing Iran's path and countering China's geopolitical influence; the Innovative European Union Silk Road Development Proposal, which comprehends the China initiative project as a vast threat to its unification and security; the Russian Federation Plan of the Eurasian Economic Union, which primarily pursues to restrict and curb Chinese influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus Region; the Multiple Japanese Advanced Plans which are based upon "The Central Asia + Japan", "The Freedom and Crescent Prosperity" and "The Defense Line" strategy to contain China’s penetrations; the territorial disagreements between Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea Peninsula, its’ rich natural water springs and the geostrategic port of Sevastopol; the turmoil of India-Pakistan relations over the Kashmir Province and other diplomatic issues; the continues civil wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan which are located in the fragmented Middle East; the internal political instability of some countries along the designed route, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East; the security challenges based upon territorial and border disputes, extremist Islamic terrorism activities, countries with low national authority levels and the political turmoil in some areas. It can be commented that China's confrontation with these geopolitical challenge’s casts doubt over the final realization of the OBOR.