Debate:Belt and Road Initiative

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Proposition[edit]

China's Belt and Road Initiative is inherently bad. Firstly, because of how many developing countries the initiative reaches and aids, authoritarianism may spread as well as China's overall political and economic influence. Secondly, there are many sex and drug trafficking issues because of how expansive the project is. Chinese workers are trafficking young girls and drugs are being smuggled. Finally, the environment is taking a huge toll. Xi claims that he wants to project to be clean and sustainable but there are definitely skeptics. Coal production is still booming and bridges, railroads, and ports are continuing being built.

What Is It?[edit]

In 2013 Xi Jinping, China's leader, proposed his idea for a massive project across land and sea, in and around Afroeurasia, which is meant to increase trade and infrastructure, especially in developing countries. Since then, it has begun to grow and expand.

Why the BRI is good[edit]

The belt and road Initiative has done just as the last edit said, Increased trade and infrastructure in mainly poor/developing nations, primarly to China's west. The BRI at first was a lose idea of a "New Silk Road" that China could use to trade with the west. However, it has since morphed very rapidly into a a massive projected connecting the world. Nations need an alternative to western back loans and the BRI helps with this. The said infrastructure also gives poorer nations a way to develop quickly while avoiding western-debt traps which were common during the early 2000s. Although China has been accused of the same it's worth noting how quickly Africa has developed. Meanwhile, due to Trump's poor and failing trade war with the PRC, the BRI has helped China maintain commerce while revenue is cut off from the west. The BRI is win-win for the countries involved, although a devloped nation would fair better from said deals due to their own diplomatic power vs the PRC. The BRI promotes trade, which is a good thing and acts somewhat as an economic deterrent, rather than a far more dangerous atomic one. — Unsigned, by: Junfa / talk / contribs

So it's Chinese imperialism, which is "good" because it isn't US imperialism. Of course, that still leaves us with the fact that massive countries are still able to dominate smaller countries, which is, well, imperialism. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:30, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
Tankies think that imperialism is good if it's done by a country with a red flag. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:46, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

In reply[edit]

I never said that imperialism is good, furthermore you undoing any edit I do is quite sad. Before you fling such accusations, read back what you type. Rather than just a blanket statement. — Unsigned, by: Junfa / talk / contribs

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:52, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm sorry, still getting the hang of this. Junfa (talk) 00:00, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
"I never said that imperialism is good" You did not say those exact words. However, you still made excuses for imperialist actions by the PRC, punctuated by jabs at western powers such as the US, as if opposition to such powers makes one good by default. Further, you bring up Africa as a success, whereas all the information I have saws it is nothing short of a disaster, undoing decades of African civil rights movements and making the affected countries slaves to the PRC's imperialistic ambitions "...furthermore you undoing any edit I do is quite sad." I am not in fact guilty of this accusation. I have undone specific edits, and if you had taken them to the relevant talkpages I would be fine with elaborating on my reasoning, but I am not mass reverting every edit you have made. Further, such discussion is irrelevant to this debate. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:02, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
Is there anything that suggest that the supposed “rapid development” in Africa is due to the BRI (as opposed to general demands for raw materials etc.)? As far as I know the initial enthusiasm for Chinese investments, which didn’t come with the various “good government” clauses etc. often tied into Western government programs, tended to cool as Chines projects were carried out by imported Chinese workers, leaving little of the supposed massive new job gains. Similarly, many of the Chinese investments associated with the BRI come with other strings attached, such as China being able to take possession of facilities if the local government fails to pay back the associated loans on time (this seems to be what’s happening in Sri Lanka).
As GrammarCommie pointed out, it’s typical economic imperialism (though of the modern variety which relies on economic threats and leverage, rather than gunboats). Being threatened with economic ruin is only marginally better than being threatened by nuclear holocaust, and is in some ways worse, since the likelihood of the opponent actually resorting to economic pressure is far higher than a nuclear strike. Note how Beijing has been flexing its muscles creating fear about the consequences of, say, showing support for the Hong Kong protests (just ask the NBA or gaming companies). Being economically beholden to a foreign power brings huge vulnerabilities to any country — and especially if that foreign power is a prickly, authoritarian regime such as Beijing. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:05, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
i'm not sure what HK has to do with the BRI, but you are correct. The propping up of African dictatorships is a problem, however those were not going away with western investment or charity work. By rapid development I'd say look at the skylines of some sub-saharran African nations that have benifited from the BRI. You say "economic ruin is better than having the bomb dropped on you" but honestly I think the end of the world in atomic fire is far worse.Junfa (talk) 00:09, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Last point first: Are those skylines specifically due to the BRI or is the increased economic activity due to more general demand for raw materials (incl. from China as the “workshop of the world”), intra-African trade etc.? You simply say, “Look this country is prosperous, must be due to BRI” without ever substantiating the link.
  • I pointed out that the barriers against using economic pressure are far lower than those against using nuclear weapons, hence you are actually far more likely to face economic ruin than the admittedly more catastrophic nuclear devastation. If you care to compare the use of economic pressure versus the use of nuclear weapons, that increased level of threat should be blindingly obvious. So, you end up with a much higher risk of really being strong armed by economic means, which has to be taken into account when evaluating the actual threat.
  • If you can’t see what the examples of Chinese pressure on foreign governments and businesses over the Hong Kong protests has to do with the BRI (which increases Chinese economic leverage i.e. the ability to apply the aforementioned economic pressure), then you’re either very unimaginative, naive or obtuse. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:55, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

No, I'm just sleepy and didn't write my point out very well. The last comment made was not needed. I agree with your viewpoint if I'm honest so I find that was quite uncalled for.Junfa (talk) 01:03, 3 August 2020 (UTC)