A New Era of Neocolonialism: China and the Belt and Road Initiative in the Asian Subcontinent

Date
2021
Authors
Farias, Perla D.
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Abstract

In 2013 something unexpected was announced, and the whole world was not prepared to hear it. During his visit to Kazakhstan and Indonesia, President Xi Jinping announced a masterplan that will greatly advance China's international prominence by facilitating its connection with the world. Xi Jinping proposed the creation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that would connect Asia with the rest of the world and would promote a win-win cooperation between China and the signatory countries of the BRI. However, the reality is crueler than what it looks in Xi Jinping's speech. This thesis intends to prove that China is a 21st-century neocolonial power and President Xi Jinping is using the BRI as a tool to accomplish his objectives of controlling the markets and having access to raw materials. Three countries, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, were carefully selected from the approximately 60-member countries of the BRI. Not being a developed or true capitalist state, China is over-looked by scholars and practitioners as a neocolonial power. With a possible realignment away from a unipolar world, China's actions along the various routes of the BRI cannot be ignored. By comparing the aspects of historical neocolonialism to what has transpired along the route of the BRI since its inception in 2013, this thesis will highlight the need to re-evaluate the type of state that can be considered neocolonial.

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Keywords
BRI, dependency theory, geopolitics, global security, internal neocolonialism, neocolonialism
Citation
Department
Global Affairs